S. G. & E. L. ELBERT
JlfttStttJefe %; BLLA SMITH ELBEHT. J BE
^T9 KATHARINE E. C0MA3?
1844 AND J ^45
SALMON PORTLAND CHASE
CHARLES DEXTER CLEVELAND
SAMPSON LOW, SON, AND MARST^N,
MILTON HOUSE, LUDGATE HILL. •>
PHILADELPHIA: J. A. BANCROFT AND CO.
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2012 with funding from
Boston Library Consortium Member Libraries
HE great contest in* our country between
Freedom and Slavery began with the
very formation of our Constitution, and
continued, with various intermissions,
down to the overthrow of the giant-mon-
ster by the proclamation of our martyr- President-
Abraham Lincoln — January I, 1863. As the future
historian will desire as many landmarks as possible of
this great life-and-death struggle, the following Ad-
dresses are now re-published in a form more permanent
than when they first appeared. It is now nearly a
quarter of a century since they were written. A new
generation has come upon the stage, comparatively
ignorant of the opposition encountered and the odium
endured by those who thus early fought the great battle
of Freedom. We fought, indeed, with the moral wea~
pons of justice, conscience, and the Word of God ; but
urged, at the same time, that all these should be con-
summated at the ballot-box. We hoped and prayed
for the peaceful overthrow of slavery by legislative
enactments, and we asked all classes to aid us. We
asked "Whigs " to vote against the vilest oligarchy that
the sun ever shone upon, and in accordance with those
true principles of. Freedom with which their name had
been for centuries so honourably associated. We asked
" Democrats " to bear in mind the true meaning of the
word they had so constantly in their mouths ; and so to
vote as to secure the ascendancy of true Democracy
everywhere — the rights of man as man, without distinc-
tion of colour, country, or condition. And we asked
Christians simply to vote as they prayed. But no : the
"Whigs" seemed to care more for "national banks,"
and " tariffs," and " internal improvements," than the
eternal principles of justice, and the inalienable rights
of man. The " Democrats" seemed to think more how
they should so "join hand in hand" with their " Southern
brethren " as to secure to themselves the spoils of office.
And the Christian, while he would pray at the evening
prayer-meeting that our country might be governed by
" righteous men ruling in the fear of God," would vote
the next day for those who seemed to say in their hearts
— " How doth God know ; and is there knowledge in
the Most High ? " Alas ! He has since shown us how
He " knew," in the terrible judgments with which He
has visited us for our great national sin.
Despairing, therefore, of winning over either of the
two great parties to the cause of Freedom, the ardent
friends of Liberty determined to organize a new party
founded on its sacred principles. The consciences as
well as the indignation of a large number in the Free
States had been aroused by the triumphs of the slave
power in the long-contested Missouri struggle in 1 820
and 1 8 2 1 ; and in 1836 some earnest abolitionists in
New York nominated and voted for an anti-slavery
candidate for the Presidency, though there was no
national organization. By the time, however, that the
next presidential election came around in 1 840, the
" National Liberty Party " was organized, and James
G. Binney, its candidate for the Presidency, received
seven thousand votes. At the next election, in 1844,
he received nearly seventy thousand ; and in 1 848
Martin Van Bur en, the "free-soil" candidate, received
about two hundred and fifty thousand. Thus the party
for Freedom, so small and so despised at first, grew
stronger and stronger every year, until in i860 it
placed Abraham Lincoln in the presidential chair.
Then, as is well known, the slave-power, despairing of
any longer controlling the counsels of the government,
as it had done for half a century, raised the standard of
rebellion to overthrow that government, and that, too,
to found another "whose corner-stone should be
Slavery." But, blessed be God, that, though encouraged
and aided by too many traitors in the North, they were
utterly thwarted in their infernal purpose, and that no
portion of our country is now, or ever again can be,
trodden by the foot of a slave.
It is to be hoped that in the earlier days of this long
contest between Freedom and Slavery, the following
Addresses exerted their share of influence for the
righteous cause, and in ultimately bringing about the
auspicious result— of Freedom's being inaugurated in
our public counsels. But, however this may be, the
authors are more than willing to present them now to
the present generation and for future times exactly as
they were then written, and thus to contribute another
mite to the permanent anti-slavery literature of their
country. C. D. C.
London, May, 1867.
Of the two Addresses I place the Philadelphia first, simply
because it was the first in the order of time. Had I placed
them according to their merits, the Cincinnati Address would,
of course, come first ; and the other next indeed, but, in the
expressive language of Milton — u long after next."
c. r>. a
ADDRESS OF THE
LIBERTY PARTY OF PENNSYLVANIA
TO THE PEOPLE OF THE
Friends and Fellow Citizens.
T a Convention of Delegates of the
Liberty Party of the Eastern section
of Pennsylvania, held in Philadel-
phia, Feb. 22, 1844, the under-
was made the chairman of a com-
mittee appointed to address you upon the great
cause which we are laboring to promote. We
now ? therefore, proceed to set before you our
views, ooir principles, and our aims ; to state the
means by which we believe those aims will be ac~
* I may now (1867) here state these facts, that the Liberty
Committee ordered, at first, twenty thousand copies of this
address to be printed, and the types to be kept standing, as it
was not stereotyped ; and that two editions more, of twenty
thousand each, were subsequently printed.
12 PENNS YL VA NIA
complished ; and to invite your cordial and earnest
co-operation with us, to secure such results as, we
are sure, will be for the best good both of our
State and of our country.
PRINCIPLES OF THE PARTY.
In the first place, then, we would state, that the
Liberty Party, though new in its organization, is not
new in its principles. It is, in the great elements of
its character, only an old party revived. It is, in
its principles, the same party as that which, in 1 776,
rallied around the Declaration of Independence,
and " pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their
sacred honor/' to maintain the noble sentiments
avowed in that instrument, that u all men are
created equal, and are endowed by their Creator
with the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the
pursuit of happiness." It is, in its principles, the
same party as that which, in 1787, formed our
own federal Constitution, the great object of which,
as set forth in the preamble, is " to establish
justice — to promote the general welfare — and to
secure the blessings of liberty J 9 It is, in its
principles, the same party that, in the same year,
in the Congress of the old Confederation, passed,
unanimously, that ever-to-be-honoured Ordinance,
in which it is declared that the whole territory of
our country North and West of the river Ohio,
should never be trodden by the foot of a slave.
Such, fellow citizens, are the principles of our
party. We cherish the same views as Washington,
who wrote these very words, — " There is but one
effectual mode by which the abolition of slavery
can be accomplished, and that is by legislative
authority, and this, so far as my suffrage will
go, shall not be wanting." We cherish the
same views as Patrick Henry, who declared " that
we owe it to the purity of our religion, to show
that it is at variance with that law which warrants
slavery."* We cherish the same views as Robert
Morris, who, in the Convention for forming the
Constitution, pronounced slavery to be a a nefarious
institution." We cherish the same views as
William Pinckney, who said in the House of
Delegates of Maryland, in 1789, " By the eternal
principles of natural justice, no master in this state
has a right to hold his slave for a single hour."
We cherish the same views as Jefferson, who
uttered these memorable words, " I tremble for
my country when I reflect that God is just, and
that his justice cannot sleep forever.' 5 We cherish
* In a letter dated January 18, 1773, Patrick Henry thus
wrote :— " Is it not a little surprising that the professors of
Christianity, whose chief excellence consists in softening the
human heart, and in cherishing and improving its finer
feelings, should encourage a practice so totally repugnant to
the first principles of right and wrong ?" Again he says : —
" It would rejoice my very soul that every one of my fellow
beings was emancipated. Believe me, I shall ever honour
the Quakers for their noble efforts to abolish slavery."
the same views as Dr. Rush, who declared slavery
to be " repugnant to the principles of Christianity,
and rebellion against the authority of a common
Father." And we cherish the same views as
Madison, who said, in the Convention of 1787,
that it was " wrong to admit into the Constitution
even the idea that there could be property in
Yes, fellow citizens, these men of former days,
and many more that might be named, saw and felt
the evils of slavery. They saw that it must be a
curse to any country ; and they saw the great in-
consistency of cherishing it in our own. They
saw, too, that if they themselves had any right, in
1776, to resist unto blood for a pound of tea, the
slave had an infinitely higher right to make the same
resistance for an infinitely higher object. This, one
of these patriot spirits had the candour to express,
declaring " that in such a contest the Almighty had
no attributes which could take sides with the mas-
ter." The men of those days looked forward, confi-
dently, to the speedy extinction of slavery. In the
Conventions of several of the States that met to
ratify the Constitution, these opinions were unequi-
vocally expressed. In the Convention of Massa-
chusetts Judge Dawes remarked, that " slavery had
received its death-wound, and would die of con-
sumption." In the Convention of Pennsylvania,
Judge Wilson, himself one of the framers of the
Constitution, said, " The new States which are to
be formed will be under the control of Congress,,
in this particular, and slavery will never be
introduced among them„" And that great
man, whose illustrious example can never be too
often held up to us for imitation — General Wash-
ington — wrote to John Sinclair, u The abolition of
slavery must take place, and that too at a period
Such, fellow citizens, were the opinions of the
men who laid the foundations of our republic ; men
of high, noble, wide-reaching views ; and who feared
that nothing would so endanger the permanency of
the fair fabric which their wisdom had reared, as
the continuation of slavery. Far different, indeed^
felt and spoke and wrote those men, from many
of our modern, so-called statesmen : far different
from the Calhouns and the McDuffies, who declare
u slavery to be the corner-stone of our republican
institutions :" far different from Henry Clay, who-
has proclaimed, unblushingly, that he is opposed to
" any emancipation, immediate or gradual ; " and
who pronounced the opinion of Madison, " that man
cannot hold property in man/' to be a " visionary
dogma:' 7 far different from Martin Van Buren^.
who pledged himself before election to veto any bill
that Congress might pass to abolish slavery in the
District of Columbia : and far different from' many
other prominent men of our times, whose highest
ambition, we feel constrained to say,, seems to be,,
to cringe to the slave pow T er„
16 PENNS YL VAN I A
We will now, therefore, proceed to set before you,
historically, and in a very succinct manner, these
CHANGES AND THEIR CAUSES.
Very soon after the formation of our Constitution,
the slaveholders saw the great political power which,
for the sake of peace and union, its framers had given
them ; and they determined to use it for their own
aggrandizement. Whether there was any express
understanding, or any secret compact among them,
that in all questions touching slavery they would
go together as one man, can never be known. Be
this, however, as it may, the fact that they have
done so remains, and it is clear to every one who
knows anything of the history of our country. No
matter what other questions, apparently of momen-
tous interest, have distracted different parties ; here
the slaveholders, true to their instincts, have pre-
sented but one undivided front.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
In the year 1790, Congress accepted from the
States of Maryland and Virginia the territory often
miles square, now the District of Columbia, for the
purpose of locating there the capitol of the nation.
When these states ceded this territory to Congress,
they " relinquished the same to the government of
the United States, in full and absolute right and
exclusive jurisdiction/'* and all the state laws that
before had existence there, became, of course, by that
very act, null and void. The very act of Con-
gress in that year, in relation to this subject, shows
this truth most conclusively ; for that act ordained
that the laws of Maryland and Virginia should con-
tinue in force until otherwise ordered. To pass an
act for their continuance is, of course, a full admis-
sion that they would not continue without such an
act. That act, therefore, is precisely the same as if
Congress had enacted an entire new code for the per-
petuity of slavery there. Had it any right to do this
constitutionally? Clearly not. To argue that
it had, would be to argue against the sun. The con-
stitution gives no power to Congress to establish
slavery. The men who framed that instrument
would not allow the word " slave ?? to be inserted in
it. Its preamble declares one of its objects to be to
" secure the blessings of liberty/' not the curse of
slavery ; and article fifth of the Amendments reads
thus : " No person shall be deprived of liberty with-
out due process of law." The act of Congress,
therefore, that was framed to introduce slavery into
the District of Columbia, was a plain, open, total
violation of the constitution. But the Slave power
went unitedly for it, and the deed was done. But
every man, woman, and child, there held as a slave.
* See Act of the State of Maryland, passed December 19,
18 PENNS YL VA NIA
is at this moment virtually free ; and the Supreme
Court of the United States would doubtless so de-
cide, were it not for the fact, to which we shall
soon particularly allude, that a majority of its judges
are from the Slave states.
And now we ask you, fellow citizens, to look at
this subject for one moment longer. Look at the
capitol of our nation, over which Congress, in the
words of the Constitution, " exercises exclusive legis-
lation in all cases whatever ;" look at it, transformed
into a slave-market, the most extensive and loath-
some of any in the world. See there, the domestic
slave trade vigorously and unblushingly carried on
in open day, a trade, which Judge C ranch and
eleven hundred other citizens of the District, in a
memorial to Congress in 1828, declare to be " more
cruel in its operations and more demoralizing in its
effects than the African slave trade itself." See
there ? in the daily papers, standing advertisements
for the purchase of men, women, and children. See
there, every two or three weeks, cargoes of human
beings shipped on board vessels for a Southern
market, like so many beasts. Like beasts, did we
say? Aye, worse; for, horrid as it is, they are
FETTERED, TWO AND TV/O, IN IRONS ; and should
any accident happen to the vessel, they have not
even the chance of making an exertion for their
safety ; but, as in that awful case that lately oc-
curred near the mouth of the Ohio, may see others
saving themselves, while they, helpless and un-
pitied, must go at once, with their heavy irons
fastened about them, deep, deep to the bottom.
And how, fellow citizens, think you, these slaves
are kept in security, until they can be safely ship-
ped ? We will tell you. To a considerable extent
in jails, built by your money, supported by your
money, protected by your money. These, with
the private prisons, are the receptacles for the safe
keeping of husbands separated from wives, and
wives separated from husbands ; of children from
parents, and parents from children ; until, as they
term it, " a cargo can be made up." Men of Penn-
sylvania ! ye who enjoy the blessings of freedom
unmolested ; ye who can look around on the happy
faces at your own fireside, and feel that, in subjec-
tion only to the Providence of God, they are all
your own, and that no spoiler's hand can snatch
one of that endeared group away, will you not feel
in a case like this ? Aye, and will you not act, too ?
How ? you may say. How ? By giving your vote
for such men to fill all our public offices, from the
highest to the lowest, as will exert all the power
they can, to put an end to this abomination ; to this
deep, foul, national disgrace. If the Slave states,
in order to prop up a little longer their heaven-
dariug system, will send men to Congress to legis-
late for Slavery, will not you have the humanity as
well as the manliness, to send men who will legis-
late, against it?
But we cannot enlarge upon this subject, full of
20 PEN ITS YL VA NIA
interest though it be, but will next, in historical
order advert to
THE. PURCHASE OF LOUISIANA IN 1803.
Fifteen millions of dollars of the people's money
were paid to France for this territory, and when the
purchase was made, French law, which before had
obtained there, ceased, and it was the duty of Con-
gress to adopt the same measures in relation to this
territory, as it adopted in 1787 in relation to the
North West Territory, namely, to make it free.
But no, this would not suit the slaveholders, and it
was not done ; and thenceforth that vast territory
was to have its rich soil moistened with the tears and
blood of the slave. The consequences are already
seen. Three states have already been formed out of it,
having now ten votes in the House of Representa-
tives, and six votes, almost one-eighth, in the Senate
of the United States. Here you see another of the
monstrous encroachments of the Slave power upon
constitutional liberty. Next in order, we will in-
introduce you to
THE PURCHASE OF FLORIDA IN l82I.
This was purchased of Spain ; and again it became
the duty of Congress to make such provisions, that
a slave should never tread its soil. Slavery, we know.,
is not a state of nature, and the right to hold a slave
is not a natural, but a legal right. Slavery is a
creature of positive law, and exists within those
limits, and within those limits ONLY, where the
laws that sanction it have force. The second clause
of section second, article fourth, of the Constitution,
says, " Congress shall have power to make all
needful rules and regulations respecting the terri-
tories belonging to the United States; 79 and article
fifth of the " Amendments/ 5 reads, " No person
shall be deprived of liberty without due process of
law : ?J while the preamble declares one of its objects
to be, " to secure the blessings of liberty''
Now, what are the facts ? We all know them,
and know them too well. There are now, according
to the last census, in the territory of Florida, twenty-
five thousand seven hundred and seventeen human
beings held in slavery there, in utter, shameless
defiance of the Constitution. And what have been
the consequences to this nation? Since 1836, more
than forty millions of dollars have been ex-
pended on the Florida war, for the special benefit
of the slaveholder, to drive the red man from his
native forests and from the graves of his fathers,
that he might not be able to give shelter to those
who should fly to him for protection from the hand
of oppression and tyranny. We first purchase
Florida for five millions, and then expend
forty millions more, that the slaveholder may
hold his victims with a more secure grasp. But
the money, enormous as is the amount, and coming
22 PEJSfNS YL VA NIA
home as it does to every man in the country, is
nothing, and less than nothing, when we look at
the lives sacrificed, the miseries endured, the cruel-
ties practised, and every principle ©f honor and
justice and humanity outraged and trampled on.
Men of Pennsylvania! have you not something
to do with slavery ?
MISSOURI STRUGGLE IN 1 820-22.
The next instance of the alarming extension of the
Slave power, and one ever to be remembered, was
the admission of Missouri into the Union as a slave
state. In 1820, the " District of Maine" petitioned
for admission into the Union, It was proper that
she should be admitted ; she had all the requisite
qualifications, and no objections could be made to
her on independent grounds. -But the Slave power,
with Henry Clay, then Speaker of the House, at
their head, declared, unequivocally, their firm and
determined hostility to the admission of Maine,
until Missouri should have been admitted as a
Slave state. The struggle was long and severe.
The debate on the subject was protracted through
two sessions, and the excitement throughout the
country was intense. The representatives from the
Free states showed more spirit, more manliness,
and a firmer determination to defend the Consti-
tution from violation than they have ever done
since ; and one of our own representatives, John
Sergeant, delivered, on that occasion, a speech to
which Pennsylvanians will ever be proud to refer.
At first, the friends of freedom were in a majority.
But the slaveholders, never for a moment relaxing
in their vigilance, continued to move on in solid
column ; and soon gained over enough of Northern
votes to turn the scale, and thus that execrable
project was finally carried, in utter defiance of every
principle of natural justice, and of the letter, as well
as of the general spirit of the Constitution.
Lastly, but six months ago, a most nefarious
plot was matured by the President and the Southern
members of his cabinet, in a manner as mean from
its secrecy, as the measure itself was daring in its
wickedness— A PLOT TO ANNEX TEXAS
TO THE UNITED STATES.
Such is one class of facts, in the history of our
country, to show the alarmingly increasing influ-
ence of the Slave power in the councils of the
nation. Let us now proceed to another class of
PREPONDERANCE OF THE SLAVE POWER IN
ALL THE MOST IMPORTANT OFFICES
I . Presidents.
Since the organization of our government, the
Slaveholding states have had six Presidents, who
will have served, at the end of this term, forty-
24 PJEJSTJVS YL VAN J A
THREE YEARS AND ELEVEN MONTHS ; the Free
states, four, who have served twelve years
and one month : and one of these four, Martin
Van Buren, was elected on the ground of his being
" a Northern man with Southern principles." And
be it remembered, that no President from the Free
states has ever been elected for a second term.
2. Secretaries of State.
Next in importance to the President is the office
of Secretary of State. He it is that has the manage-
ment of all the business and correspondence with
foreign courts ; that instructs all ambassadors,
ministers, commissioners, and consuls ; and that
negotiates all the treaties Of the sixteen Secre-
taries of State since the formation of the Constitu-
tion, the Slave states have had twelve, the Free
3. The Judiciary,
In the Judiciary, the very balance wheel of our
government, and which has continually before it
the most important questions of which man can
take cognizance ; questions of constitutional law ;
questions of chartered rights and privileges ; ques-
tions involving millions of property ; and above
all, questions that are to decide the liberty or
slavery of man ; here, we say, the preponde-
rance of the Slave power is still more alarming.
First, look at the Districts, and see how une-
qually, how unjustly they are divided. Vermont,
Connecticut, and New York constitute one District,
with one Judge, They have forty-two Repre-
sentatives in Congress, and a free population of
3,030,826 ; while Alabama and Louisiana, with but
eleven Representatives, and with a free population
of but 521,183, a little more than one sixth of
the former, constitute another District, with another
Judge. Then compare^ where the comparison
comes more home to ourselves. New Jersey and
Pennsylvania constitute the third District ; Missis-
sippi and Arkansas the ninth. The former has
twenty-nine Representatives in Congress, and a
free population of 2,096,601 ; the latter, but five
Representatives in Congress, and but 258,079 of
Second, look at the manner in which the bench
of the Supreme Court of the United States has ever
been, and still is constituted. Of the twenty-seven
Judges of that Court, since the adoption, of the
Constitution, the Slave states have had seven-
teen, the Free states but ten : and of the eigh-
teen Attorneys- General, the number has been against
us in the still greater ratio of thirteen to five,
Within the last nine years ? six appointments have
been made to the bench of the Soprenie Court, and
all these from the Slave states; and that, too,
men of Pennsylvania, when we had within our own
domain such men as Binney, and Dallas, and
Chauncey, and Sergeant, and Rogers, and Gibson ;
men whom we know to be equal to any, and supe-
26 PENNS YL VAN I A
rior to most of those who now occupy the seats of
that high tribunal. Is there not something deep,
dark, designing in all this ? Does not the Slave
power mean to keep, if it can, a majority of the
Judges on their side, to decide their way in all
questions involving human liberty? Who, with
his eyes open, can for one moment doubt it ?
4. Speakers of the House.
But the Slave power is not content with all this.
It is determined, if it can, to give its own com-
plexion to our national legislation. To this end, it
has so managed, generally, that the Speaker of the
House of Representatives shall be identified with
its interests. He it is that appoints all the Com-
mittees of the House. These Committees report
on the various subjects committed to their charge,
and their reports are printed in large numbers, and
sent abroad on the wings of the wind, all over the
land. Look back, then, into the history of our
national legislation, and you will find that in thirty
elections for Speaker of the House of Representa-
tives, the Slave states have secured their man
twenty-one times, or for forty years; the Free
states, nine times, or for seventeen years.
With the exception of Mr. Taylor, of New York,
who served three years, the Free states have
NOT GIVEN A SPEAKER TO THE HOUSE SINCE
1809. Then go over to the other side of the Capitol,
and you will find that of the seventy-six Presidents
of the Senate, pro tempore, the Slave states have
had sixty, the Free states sixteen.
But we have neither space nor time, fellow
citizens, to take up all the Offices and Departments
of our Government, and to comment upon each
separately. We will therefore select a few, and
place them in a tabular form, comparing the num-
ber of those furnished by the Free states with those
furnished by the Slave states, and leave you to
make your own comments.
Secretaries of State
Judges of the Supreme Court .
Speakers of the House
Presidents of the Senate (pro tern,)
Secretaries of War .
„ „ Navy ,
„ ,, Treasury
Ministers of all kinds to foreign
We said that we would leave you to make your
own comments. We cannot, however, but remark,
that whenever Northern men have been elected or
appointed to any of these high offices, Southern
28 PENNS TL VAN I A
men, whose vigilance is worthy of a better cause,
have always been very careful first to see that the
persons thus selected have a u fellow feeling " with
themselves on the subject of slavery. In 1841, six
persons, all from the slave states, had been
nominated to diplomatic stations previous to the
nomination of Edward Everett, of Massachusetts
to the Court of St. James, and all were confirmed
without hesitation ; but his nomination was laid on
the table. For what reason ? Because he was
unfit for the station ? No ! for no one doubted
that in every intellectual qualification he was im-
measurably superior to all the rest. But— and
mark it well, fellow citizens — because he was
thought by the Southern senators not to favor
sufficiently their " peculiar institutions;" a soft
phrase which they use, we know, for slavery, when
conscience, paying thus an involuntary tribute to
justice and virtue, would cause the latter term to
stick in their throat. At the rejection of such a
man, a few Northern editors did, for a time, shake
off their mouse-like spirits, and speak out like men.
The nomination was at last confirmed, but- — and
mark this, too— not until some of the Northern
friends of Mr. Everett had the meanness so far to
cringe to the Slave power, as to send letters to
Washington to assure their '• Southern friends "
that he was not tinctured with " abolition senti-
ments/' And within this year, of six nominations
sent on one day to the Senate of the United States
to fill important public stations, five were from the
Northern and one from a Southern state ; all from
the Free states were rejected, while the one from
Virginia was confirmed ; though he had been a
second in a duel, which, in a moment, made a wife
a widow, and a family of children orphans.
THE SLAVE POWER CONTROLS THE GREAT
INTERESTS OF OUR COUNTRY.
Having thus shown you, fellow citizens, the vast
preponderance of the Slave power in all the impor-
tant offices of our government, we will now proceed
to set before you a few other facts, which prove,
conclusively, how it has extended its power and
exerted its influence in every possible direction, to
the greatest injury of our country's best interests,
i. The 'Navy.
Ever since the glorious act of England in eman-
cipating all the slaves in her West India colonies-—
an act which, from the most happy results that
have followed, seems to be held up to the world as
a signal example that it is always safe to do right,
— the Slave power has been most vigilant in
securing a preponderance in the Navy. The
" Home Squadron " has been a favourite measure
with them, that they might have protection for
their infamous coastwise slave trade, as well as pro-
tection for their sea coast. A guilty conscience
30 PEJSINS YL VA NIA
sees a thousand threatening dangers where an
honest man sees none; and the slaveholder seems
to have continually flitting before his distempered
vision scores of vessels laden with armed free
blacks from the West Indies, approaching our
Southern shores, to avenge the cause of their
brethren in bonds. Hence they have taken special
care to have a majority of the officers of the Navy
from their own states, and to have the Naval
Bureaus at Washington under their own control.
Of the forty-three officers in the Navy Depart-
ment in Washington, thirty -one are from the Slave
states, and but twelve from the Free states ; and of
all the officers in the Navv, whether in actual ser-
vice or waiting orders, Pennsylvania, with a free
population more than double that of Virginia, has
but one hundred and seventy '-seven , while Virginia
has two hundred and twenty-four. The late Secre-
tary of the Navy, Judge Upshur, in the first year
of his office, appointed thirty-two midshipmen, of
whom fifteen were taken from Virginia, and the
other seventeen from Maryland, Delaware, and the
District. — We might extend this train of remark
to a great extent, but we have not space. The facts,
however, show the deep, well-laid design of the
Slave power to be, to secure the services of the
Navy for the defence of Slavery, and, in the event
of a war, to secure the possession of the Navy
Look, now, fellow citizens, at the appropriations
for the fiscal 'year ending June, 1844. They are
— for the Army, more than two millions ; for the
Fortifications, &c, more than four millions; for
the Navy, more than eight millions, and for the
Peace establish ment, not quite seven millions of
dollars. Here, in a time of profound tranquillity?
the expenses for war are more than double those
But why so much, you may ask, for the Navy ?
We will tell you. The " Home Squadron " is to
consist, this year, of sixteen vessels. Yes ?
fellow citizens, to protect our own coasts, an esta-
blishment is to be kept up of three frigates, six
sloops, two steamers, and five brigs and schooners.
Do you ask the reason of all this array of
military force ? Let the late Judge Upshur, the
Secretary of the Navy, himself from Virginia,,
answer. In his late Report he speaks of " those
incursions from which so much evil is to be appre-
hended." Again : " The effect of these incursions*,
on the Southern portion of our country, would be
disastrous in the extreme." And again : " The
Southern naval stations, more especially, re-
quire a large force for their security. A large
number of arms is kept in each of them, which, by
a sudden irruption of the class of people who are
not citizens, might be seized and used for very
Here, fellow citizens, you have the whole of it,
Here you see that we of the Free states are to be
32 PEWNS YL YA NIA
taxed to an enormous amount, and that the power
of the General Government is to be used, to keep
the slaves of the Southern states from insurrection !
The question will not now, we think, be asked by
you-—" What has the North to do with Slavery? "
2. The Post Offi.ce.
Scarcely any one of the great elements of modern
civilization is productive of more happy results to
a country than the post office system, when pro-
perly conducted ; that system by which a Govern-
ment takes upon itself the obligation to give to its
subjects or citizens the power of communicating
one with another, at any distance, throughout its
whole domain. But that this system may do the
most good, two things are essential ; namely,
security and cheapness. The farmer, or the
•merchant, or the tradesman, who wishes to learn
the state of the markets— the mechanic or laborer,
who desires to know the rate of wages — the friend,
who is anxious to hear of the welfare of a friend,
from whom he has long been parted — the mother or
the father, who wishes to hear from an absent child
-—the emigrant, who has left the home of his youth,
and gone out into the far West, but who yet wishes
to gain frequent tidings from that spot he has left
behind, so dear to his memory ; — all these should
be able to communicate with each other, freely and
safely, indeed, but cheaply. The greatest,
THE STRONGEST CEMENT OF OUR UNION, WOULD
be A cheap pate of postage. In Great
Britain, a Monarchy, a friend can send a letter to
a friend to any part of the kingdom for two
cents ; while in republican America it would cost
him, in most cases, from six to twelve times that
Now, fellow citizens, let us tell you that the
great obstacle to a safe and cheap postage is the
Slave power. In 1835, Amos Kendall, the
Postmaster General, to please the citizens of
Charleston, South Carolina, wrote to the Post-
master there, " So far as I can prevent it no anti-
slavery pamphlets or papers shall be circulated
through the public mails ; " and the citizens of
that city met, and passed a series of resolutions, in
which they declared themselves determined to
resist, by force, any attempt to send through the
mail what they termed u incendiary pamphlets;"
and actually opened a number of letters, and
burnt a large number of papers and pamphlets ! !
But this is not all. In the same year the Post-
master of New York " assumed the responsibility"
of suppressing such papers as he thought proper,
and of refusing the mail to such citizens as had
sent to him some copies of the Anti-Slavery
Reporter; and in the year 1838, a large number
of the " Baltimore Religious Magazine/' con-
taining an article on " Bible Slavery/' which did
not please the slavebreeders of Petersburg, Vir-
ginia, were taken from the Post Office, and burnt
34 PENNS YL VAN I A
in the street, in the presence, and by direction of
the Mayor and Recorder!! Such outrageous
violations of the Constitution need no comment.
You thus see, fellow citizens, how the Slave
power tramples on the sacredness of the mail. We
will now show you by figures how and why the
same power has thus far opposed, and successfully
opposed, all reduction of our present enormous
rates of postage.
According to the last report of the Postmaster
General, the excess of revenue over the expenditure
in the Free states is 552,066 dollars ; while the ex-
cess of expenditure over the revenue in the Slave
states is 545,262 dollars ; that is, while the Free
states are a gain to the department of more than half
a million of dollars, the Slave states are a loss to
the department of over half a million of dollars ; in
other words, Northern freemen pay the postage of
Southern slaveholders. Compare our own state,
fellow citizens, with Virginia, and the contrast is
still more striking. In Pennsvlvania the excess of
the revenue over the expenditure is 147,409 dol-
lars ; in Virginia the excess of expenditure over the
revenue is 50,777 dollars; so that our citizens,
besides paying our own postage, pay the postages
of Virginia, and then have enough to make up the
deficiencies of Maryland, South Carolina, and
Mississippi. No wonder the Slave power has
opposed all reduction of rates. The present system
suits them exactly. And what do we get in return
for thus paying their postage ? We have told
you. We have our letters opened and our papers
3. Public Lands.
Whenever there is to be any distribution of
money, fellow citizens, the slaveholders always
manage to get the " lion's share." This they did
in the " Distribution Bill/' which was passed in
1841, to distribute the proceeds of the public
lands among the several states. They secured
their object by having the distribution based upon
" federal numbers," that is, according to their re-
presentation in Congress, where three-fifths of the
slaves are represented, and not according to free
population. Supposing the proceeds of the public
lands to be three millions of dollars, Pennsylvania,
with a free population more than double that of
Virginia by 142,349, instead of receiving more
than double the amount, will receive 74,521 dol-
lars less ; and with a free population equal to that
of Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, received
94,330 dollars less. Had our Representatives in
Congress had any just sense of what is due to the
dignity, the honor, and the interests of their own
state, they would have withstood, to the very last,
a bill so grossly and palpably unjust. And let us
tell you, fellow citizens, that you never will have
Representatives in Congress of the right character
until you make an effort to elect them. To secure
the end, you must adopt the means.
36 PENNSYL VANIA
4. Surplus Revenue.
Of the same character was the Bill passed in
1836, to distribute the surplus revenue in the
Treasury of the United States among the several
states. The Secretary of the Treasury calculated
that there would be twenty-two millions of dollars
to be distributed, and that, too, in the words of the
Bill, u in proportion to the representation of the
states in the Senate and House of Representatives. "
By this method of distribution the Slave states, with
3,789,674 free inhabitants, received 9,428,580 dol-
lars, while the Free states, with 7,003,239 free in-
habitants, received but 12,571,420 dollars. Had
our states received in proportion to our number of
free inhabitants, instead of twelve millions and a
half, we should have received eighteen millions.
The state of Virginia received 1,721,090 dollars;
Pennsylvania, 2,244,900 dollars; but had the whole
amount of surplus revenue been proportioned as it
shouldhave been, we should have received 3, 1 25,927
dollars, or nearly one million more. Or, to place the
injustice of this measure in a still broader light, a
Virginia slaveholder, with an hundred slaves, re-
ceives as much as sixty-one freemen of Penn-
sylvania. We need make no further comments,
fellow citizens, on a Bill so palpably unjust.
5. Ratio of Representation.
Immediately after the last Census of the United
States had been taken, it became the duty of Con-
gress to fix a new ratio for Representation. The
subject was before the House of Representatives
for a long time, and a variety of numbers were
proposed that should be entitled to one Repre-
sentative. At last they agreed that there should
be one for every 50,189, which would have given
306 members to the House ; and they sent the Bill
to the Senate. That body, however, w T hich, of the
two, has ever been most subservient to the Slave
power, saw that this would not do. They saw r
that this Bill would give the Free states a majority
of 68 in the House. They knew, indeed, that
our states must have, in any case, a majority; but
they also knew that they could better manage and
break down a small majority than a large one, and
immediately they set themselves to work to see
how they could weaken us the most. They,
therefore, sent back to the House a Bill, giving
one Representative to every 70,680 of federal
population, and which w T ould reduce the House
from its then number, 242 members, to 223 ; and
give the Free states a majority of 47 instead of 68.
But why that odd number 680 ? We will tell you,
fellow citizens. It deprives the four great states of
the North, namely, Massachusetts, New York,
Pennsylvania , and Ohio of one member each.
Take that number off, and let it be 70,000, and
all the other states would have precisely the same
number of Representatives. It would injure no
one to take off the 680 ; but put it on, and it gives
38 PENJYS YL VA NIA
to the great states we have mentioned one Repre-
And then, too, look at the fractions unrepre-
sented. While all the Slave states have but
140,092, the Free states have 218,678, a differ-
ence of 78,586. The fraction of Virginia is 2?
that of Pennsylvania is 27,687, besides that she
is deprived of one member in the House. And
the House, to their shame be it said, concurred in
this Bill, so clearly and designedly lessening their
influence. Even the correspondent of the u New-
York Herald " could thus write at the time : —
u The Senate Apportionment has robbed the North
of at least one quarter of its practical influence in
the Union when regarded in its full extent; and
the members of the Free states who voted for it
have thus yielded and surrendered the rights of
their constituents, and violated their trusts/'
THE SLAVE POWER, THE CHIEF CAUSE OF
OUR FINANCIAL EMBARRASSMENTS ; OR, IN
PLAINER WORDS, OF " HARD TIMES."
I. By controlling things abroad.
If you will take the pains, fellow citizens, to look
into our commercial treaties with foreign nations,
you will find that the great majority of them are
made with reference to the products of Slave labor.
All our ambassadors to foreign courts have ever
been particularly instructed in this respect. The
cry has been continually, cotton, cotton ; tobacco,
tobacco ; rice, rice. For very many years after
the formation of our government, wheat and flour,
the products of the Free states, constituted the
chief articles of our export. We hardly need tell
you that these were years of unexampled prosperity
to our country. But in later times, and particu-
larly since the signal overthrow of the friends of
freedom in the Missouri struggle, down to that
ever- to-be-remembered and disgraceful letter of
instructions, written by Daniel Webster to Mr.
Everett, at London, respecting the slaves ship-
wrecked in the Creole, the Slave power, by uniting
with one or the other of the two great parties of
the North, has managed so adroitly, by securing
all the important offices of the Government to
itself, that the foreign markets for free labor pro-
duce have been growing less and less, and those for
the products of slave labor have been constantly
enlarging. We have seen England, France, Austria,
and Russia, one after another, induced, by the
incessant persuasions of our General Government,
to modify or remove their onerous duties on
cotton and tobacco ; while not an effort has
been made to induce England to alter her corn-
laws ; or to persuade France, or any other
European power so to modify their tariffs, as to
favor the importation, into those countries, of the
40 PENNS YL VAN I A
wheat, the provisions,* the products of the
fisheries, the forests, and the mines, or any of the
various manufactures from the Free states of the
North or the West.
2. By controlling things at home.
Here, fellow citizens, we have to speak of a
subject, which we have all, within the last ten
years, more or less severely felt — the influence of
the Slave power in producing our embarrassments
in commerce, in agriculture, and in all the arts and
employments of life. Looking always with a most
jealous eye upon the prosperity of the North, and
knowing that, with the indomitable energies of
free labor, it can adapt itself to almost any system,
provided it be permanent, the object of the Slave
power has ever been change, change, change.
Very many years ago foreign commerce found
no favor in its eyes, but domestic manufactures
were loudly called for. Well, domestic manufac-
tures were established. But scarcely had the
North begun to put forth its giant strength in
them, when the South felt that its locks must be
shorn, and demanded a return to free trade, under
the threat of dissolving the Union, unless this
demand were complied with. All the changes
that have been made in the tariff that have ope-
* England has lately made some alteration in her tariff
as regards te provisions 5 " but no thanks to the powers at
rated unfriendly to Northern interests, (and such
changes have taken place every few years,) have
been made by the South ; and " the great compro-
miser," Henry Clay, has always managed to
u compromise " but one way — against free, and
for slave labor.
But, above all, look at the enormous losses which
the North has sustained from its Southern trade.
It has found, by its own sad experience, that there
is more than one " Grand Gulf" at the South;
that the whole South is but one Grand Gulf,
constantly calling for and swallowing up the
free capital of the Free states. This, the failure
of the U. S. Bank ; this, the losses of thousands of
merchants, and manufacturers, and mechanics
throughout our Free states, affecting everywhere
so injuriously the great farming interests, most
It is computed that the Slave states owe the
Free states, at the lowest estimate, THREE
HUNDRED MILLIONS OF DOLLARS;
while some have reckoned it as high as four
HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLIONS. In 1837, New
York and other cities of the North and East, lost
ONE hundred MILLIONS of dollars in Southern
debts. In 1838, Maryland, Virginia, and Ken-
tucky lost EIGHTY MILLIONS of dollars, because
Mississippi, that " chivalrous " state, refused to
pay for the slaves she had illegally imported,
But this loss fell ultimately on the Free states^
who received in payment for the debts due to
them from the slave selling states, paper endorsed
by the banks of the slave buying states — the
banks at Mobile, Vicksburg, Grand Gulf, and
And now, fellow citizens, let us come home to
ourselves. You all remember, too well, the
fall of the United States Bank, and the other
banks in Philadelphia, a few years ago ; and how
many banks in the interior, by having more or
less of the stock and other obligations of these
institutions, were materially crippled. And you
remember, too, the utter failure of many of our
best merchants ; and the great, though not de-
structive, losses of many more. Why, and whence
all this ? We will tell you, — connections with the
Slaveholding states, by speculations in cotton, by
giving long credits to Southern merchants for
goods, and by purchasing the stocks of their banks,
and railroads, and other companies, to enormous
amounts. The United States Bank has now due
to it from the Slave states debts to the amount of
at least twenty millions of dollars ; and the
merchants of Philadelphia, including all who pur-
chased Southern stocks, lost from the year 1834
to 1839, at the lowest estimate, thirty millions
of dollars, in the Slave states, of which they
will never receive one cent.
Here, then, we have an amount of fifty
millions of dollars utterly sunk. The dis-
tress which these losses occasioned, you all, fellow
citizens, well know ; and many, too many, of you
most deeply feel. How many a person in the
decline of life, who had retired from business, how
many an orphan, how many a widow, had their
all laid up in that mammoth institution, in the
fullest assurance that it would yield them a sure
and regular return while life should last. And at
its fall, how much sorrow, how much distress, how
much real, bitter, pinching poverty did it bring
with it. How many a hearth was made cold and
cheerless, how many a mansion made desolate,
how many were thrown upon the cold charities of
the world. Nor were the losses confined to
Philadelphia. By no means. They reached every
corner of the State— every log house beyond the
mountains. Can fifty millions of dollars
be sunk in a city, the great emporium of trade and
commerce — the great receiver and distributor of
the products of labor, and the loss not be felt
along every road, and highway and canal that
leads to it ? Can a central, vital function of the
body be diseased, and the derangement not be felt
throughout every vein and artery of the system?
And now, fellow citizens, you may ask, what is
our object in thus exhibiting to you the alarming
influence of the Slave power? Do we wish to
44 PENNS YL VAN I A
excite in your bosoms feelings of hatred against
citizens of a common country ? Do we wish to
array the Free states against the Slave states in
hostile strife? NO, fellow citizens, NO, NO.
But we wish to show you that, while the Slave
states are inferior to us in free population, having
not even one half of ours ) inferior in morals,
being the region of bowie knives and duels, of
assassinations and lynch law; inferior in mental
attainments, having not one-fourth of the number
that can read and write ; inferior in intelligence,*
having not one-fifth of the number of literary and
scientific periodicals ; inferior in the products of
agriculture and manufactures, of the mines, of the
fisheries, and of the forest ; inferior, in short, in
everything that constitutes the wealth, the honor,
the dignity, the stability, the happiness, the true
greatness of a nation, it is wrong, it is unjust, it is
absurd, that they should have an influence in all
the departments of government so entirely dispro-
portionate to our own. We would arouse you to
your own true interests. We would have you,
like men, firmly resolved to maintain your own
rights. We would have you say to the South, —
* And here, in this connection, we would remark, that if
Northern freemen had a proper sense of their own dignity
and rights, they would say to every editor of a newspaper or
magazine, who cringes to the Slave power, if you choose
rather to favor that region so devoid of intelligence, to that
region go ; and we will support those journals that " know
their rights, and knowing dare maintain."
if you choose to hug to your bosom that system
which is continually injuring and impoverishing
you ; that system which reduces two millions and
a half of native Americans in your midst to the
most abject condition of ignorance and vice, with-
holding from them the very key of knowledge ;
that system which is at war with every principle
of justice, every feeling of humanity ; that system
which makes man the property of man, and per-
petuates that relation from one generation to
another; that system which tramples, continually,
upon a majority of the commandments of the
Decalogue ; that system which could not live a
day if it did not give one party supreme control
over the persons, the health, the liberty ? the
happiness, the marriage relations, the parental
authority and filial obligations of the other ; if
you choose to cling to such a system — cling to it ;
but you shall not cross our line; you shall not
bring that foul thing here. We know, and we
here repeat it for the thousandth time, to meet, for
the thousandth time, the calumnies of our enemies,
that while we may present to you every considera-
tion of duty, we have no right, as well as no
power, to alter your State laws. But remember,
that slavery is the mere creature of local or statute
law, and cannot exist out of the region where such
law has force. "It is so odious/' says Lord
Mansfield, " that nothing can be suffered to support
it but positive law."
46 PENNS YL VAN I A
We would, therefore, say to you again, in the
strength of that Constitution under which we live,
and which no where countenances slavery, you
shall not bring that foul thing here. You shall
not force the corrupted, and corrupting blood of
that system into every vein and artery of our body
politic. You shall not have the controlling power
in all the departments of our government at home
and abroad. You shall not so negotiate with
foreign powers, as to open markets for the products
of slave labor alone. You shall not so manage
things at home, as every few years to bring bank-
ruptcy upon our country. You shall not, in the
apportionment of public moneys, have what you
call your " property'' represented, and thus get that
which, by no right, belongs to you. You shall
not have the power to bring your slaves upon our
free soil, and take them away at pleasure ; nor to
reclaim them, when they, panting for liberty, have
been able to escape your grasp ; for we would have
it said of us, as the eloquent Curran said of Britain,
the moment the slave touches our soil, " The ground
on which he stands is holy, and consecrated to
the Genius of Universal Emancipation."
Thus, fellow citizens, we come to
THE GREAT OBJECT OF THE LIBERTY PARTY.
It is, in the words of the Constitution, " to
ESTABLISH JUSTICE ; TO SECURE THE BLESSINGS
OF LIBERTY." It is, ABSOLUTE AND UNQUALI-
FIED DIVORCE OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT
FROM ALL CONNECTION WITH SLAVERY ; and we
would, therefore, here utter our solemn protest
against the nefarious doctrine avowed by Henry
Clay, in the Senate of the United States, in
January, 1839, that " this Government is bound
to protect the domestic slave trade/' We would
say, in the eloquent language of that noble son of
freedom, Cassius M. Clay, of Kentucky, " Let the
whole North in a mass 9 in conjunction with the pat-
riotic of the South, withdraw the moral sanction and
legal power of the Union from the sustainment of
slavery." We would employ every constitu-
tional means to eradicate it from our entire country,
because it would be for the highest welfare of our
entire country. We would have liberty established
in the District, and in all the Territories. We
would put a stop to the internal slave trade, pro-
nounced, even by Thomas Jefferson Randolph, of
Virginia, to be " worse and more odious than the
foreign slave trade itself/' We would, in the
words of the Constitution, have " the citizens of
each state have all the privileges and immunities
of citizens in the several states ;" and not, for the
color of their skin, be subjected to every indignity,
and abuse, and wrong, and even imprisonment.*
* Read the memorial of citizens of Boston to the House of
Representatives, on the imprisonment of free citizens of Mas-
sachusetts by the authorities of Savannah, Charleston and
48 PENJSTS YL VAN I A
We would have equal taxation. We would have
the seas free. We would have a free and secure
post office. We would have liberty of speech and
of the press, which the Constitution guarantees to
us. We would have our members in Congress
utter their thoughts freely, without threats from
the pistol or the bowie knife. We would have the
right of petition most sacredly regarded. We
would secure to every man what the Constitution
secures, " the right of trial by jury/' We would
do what we can for the encouragement and improve-
ment of the colored race, and restore to them
that inestimable right of which they have been so
meanly, as well as unjustly, deprived — the right
of suffrage. We would look to the best interests
of the country, and the whole country, and not legis-
late for the good of an Oligarchy, the most arro-
gant that ever lorded it over an insulted people.*
We would have our commercial treaties with foreign
nations regard the interests of the Free states.
We would provide safe, adequate, and permanent
markets for the produce of free labor. And,
when reproached with slavery, we would be able
to say to the world, with an open front and a clear
conscience, our General Government has nothing
* The slaveholders, at most, do not number over 250,000 5
not so many as there are inhabitants in the city and districts
of Philadelphia. How humiliating that such a set of men
should govern such a country.
to do with it, either to promote, to sustain, to
defend, to sanction, or to approve.
Thus, fellow citizens, you see our objects. You
may now ask, by what means we hope to attain
them. We answer, by
What is political action ? It is, acting in a
manner appropriate to those objects which we wish
to secure through the agency of the different
departments of Government. He, for instance,
who desires Congress to charter a national bank,
or to pass a highly restrictive tariff, will do what
he can to send to Congress such men as are known
to be favorable to those objects. So he who is
interested for the freedom of millions of the human
race; who desires that our general government
may be entirely divorced from all connection with
slavery ; who wishes to see our country governed
by "just men/' will, if consistent, adopt measures
appropriate to secure such ends. What are those
measures ? There is but one answer. The only
way in which he can act constitutionally, is to go
to the ballot-box, and there, silently and unostenta-
tiously, deposit a vote for such men as will do
what they can to carry out those principles which
he has so much at heart. This is political
action, or action in political affairs ; and is as
pure, in itself, as action in domestic, or mercantile,
or ecclesiastical affairs. We grant that not the
50 PENJSfSYL VAN I A
purest associations have been connected with the
phrase, because good men have too often stood
aloof from political action, and have left the great
affairs of government to be managed by not the
most worthy ; — by those who make politics a sort of
But we now, fellow citizens, propose to you a
sort of political action in which you may most
ardently engage without being soiled. It is the
same political action which was enjoined more than
three thousand years ago. " Moreover thou shalt
provide out of all the people able men, such as fear
God, men of truth, hating covetousness, and place
such men over them to be rulers/'* This, fellow
citizens, we have done, and this we ever intend to
do; and in this action we now invite your aid.
In saying this, we do not intend to underrate
moral suasion. Far, very far, from it. None can
value it more highly. We are always using it, and
we hope ever to use it till slavery is overthrown.
Moral power is, indeed, the great power. But as
in most other cases, so here, this power must have
a lever which it can grasp and wield, in order to
be effectual. That lever is Political Action.
Why? Plainly, because Slavery is the creature of
u political action," and how else than by " political
action" can it be abolished? The laws that sus-
tain slavery are not the laws of God, but in total
* Exodus xviii. 21.
violation of His laws. Neither did they make
themselves ; and they cannot annul themselves.
They were made by men, and by men only can
they be repealed. But they were made by selfish,
unjust men ; by men regardless of the rights of
their fellow-men. They must therefore be repealed
by men of a character totally different: by men
who regard justice and equal rights : by men who
have no sympathy with the proud oppressor: by
men who will dare to do right ; who will meet any
obloquy, and face any danger in the course where
duty leads. And how are such men to be placed
in office? We answer, of course, by votes ?
fellow citizens. There is no other constitutional
way. The case is as clear as any axiom in mathe-
We ask, then, how can any good man — any true
friend of his country's best interests — any lover of
justice and humanity— for a moment doubt what
his duty herein is ? Will he withdraw from all
action in the questions of the deepest public inte-
rest, and leave everything to be managed hj those
who make politics a trade ? And if he makes no
effort, in the way the Constitution provides, to
remedy great evils, with what face, we ask, can he
complain of the continuance of those evils ? But
you may ask why we adopt a
We answer, because we believe this to be the
52 PEJSfNS YL VAN I A
only effectual mode to accomplish our object. For
years and years we tried both the two great poli-
tical parties ; but all in vain. Henry Clay himself
said in the U. S. Senate, " It is not true, and I
rejoice that it is not true, that either of the two
great parties in this country has any design or aim
at abolition. I should deeply lament if it were
true." Of the great number of candidates, there-
fore, whom we would question as to their views in
relation to our great objects, some would not
answer at all ; some would answ er in a manner
insulting to our feelings ; and some would answer,
like the oracle at Delphi, as profound as unmeaning.
A very few would answer favorably to secure our
votes, and then, after they were elected hj our
votes, would turn around and laugh at our credu-
lity. A sense of what is due to ourselves and to
the best good of our country, has compelled us,
therefore, to the course we have taken.
At the approaching election, fellow citizens, you
will have before you the candidates of three parties,
from which you are to choose. The candidate of
the Whig party for the Presidency is
It is painful to us, fellow citizens, at any time, to
speak against the character of any one. But in a
case like this, when most unworthy candidates are
presented for your suffrage by two of the parties,
feeling must yield to duty, and we must tell you
why they are unworthy of your confidence.
There are some features of the moral character
of Henry Clay which we have not the least desire
to discuss. From the time that he first entered
upon public life at Washington, until within a very
few years, unless common fame has done him the
grossest injustice, his moral character could not but
meet the reprobation of every good man. Had he
given any evidence of sincere repentance, we would
be the last even to allude to these things. That he
is utterly unworthy of the suffrages of the friends
of liberty, however, we need hardly tell you. That
a man who will say in a speech before the Coloni-
zation Society, that he is utterly opposed to all
emancipation of the slaves, either " immediate or
gradual, without their removal ;" that a man who
exerted all his influence for the admission of Mis-
souri into the Union, as a slave state ;* that a man
who declared in the Senate of the United States,
February 9, 1839, that u that is property which
the law declares to be property "■ — •" that two hun-
* As if the deed itself was not bad enough, he must add to
its wickedness, the wickedness of violating the Fourth Com-
mandment " It was in this very Chamber, Senator Holmes*
of Maine, presiding in a committee of the Senate, and I in a
committee of twenty -four of the House of Representatives, on
a Sabbath day, that the terms were adjusted by which the
Missouri compromise was effected." Speech, Feb. 23, 1835.
In his recent Southern tour, he has been guilty of the same
sin to a most shameless extent.
54 PENNS YL VAN I A
dred years of legislation have sanctified negro
slaves as property ;" who, in the same speech,
pronounced the opinion of Madison, that " man
cannot hold property in man/ 9 to be a " visionary
dogma;" and who had the awful blasphemy to
compare men ? held as slaves, with other " live
stock ;" that such a man has no claims to a free-
man's vote we need, certainly, take no pains to
But that which should render Henry Clay
still more odious, if possible, in the eyes of every
good man, is the fact that HE IS THE GREAT
DUELLIST OF THE LAND. The first affair
of murder in which he was engaged was with
Colonel Daviess, of Kentucky, in 1805. A chal-
lenge was given and accepted, and both parties
were proceeding to the work of death, when the
seconds brought about a reconciliation, His mur-
derous intention, however, remained. The second
duel was with Humphrey Marshall, also of Ken-
tucky, in 1808. They exchanged shots three
times, and both parties were slightly wounded,
when they declared themselves " satisfied." The
third duel was with John Randolph, then Senator
from Virginia, when Mr. Clay was Secretary of
State under John Quincy Adams. At the second
shot Mr. Clay's ball passed through Mr. Ran-
dolph's dress, when both parties declared a cessa-
tion of hostilities. In these instances, indeed, he
did not kill his antagonists; not, however, from
want of intention, but from want of skill. But the
fourth affair of murder, in which Mr. Clay has
been engaged, is that which ought to stamp his
name with lasting infamy ; for it was he that
penned the challenge, and arranged the terms of
that fatal duel which, in February, 1838, sent
Jonathan Cilley, a member of Congress from the
State of Maine, to his grave. Mr. Wise, in his
place in Congress, declared, that Henry Clay
" governed all the preliminaries" of that murderous
affray 5 that he (Mr. Wise) " protested against the
language of the challenge, which closed the door to
an adjustment of the difficulty, but was over-ruled
by Mr. Clay;" and that, " had the principals and
the two seconds been free to act in this matter, not
a shot would have been fired."* His hands, there-
fore, are stained with the blood of the murdered
Cilley, and all the waters of the ocean cannot wash
it out. Lastly, as late as 1841, he showed as much
eagerness for murder as ever ; for when, after that
bitter war of words between himself and Mr. King,
of Alabama, in the U. S. Senate, Mr. Clay pro-
nouncing what Mr. King had said to be " unjust,
false, and cowardly," intending thereby to provoke
a challenge, that he might have the choice of
weapons, Dr. Linn, of Missouri, handed a note to
Mr. Clay, the latter said, before opening it, in tones
* See Globe and National Intelligencer of January 29,
2842, and Pennsylvanian of January 31, 1842.
56 PEWNS YL VAN I A
of most embittered rage, "a challenge, I suppose;
I ACCEPT IT ;" thus showing that age had not
cooled his ardor for the work of death.
Thu^sfellow citizens, you have before you the
candidate of the Whig party for the Presidency.
The law of Pennsylvania, passed March 31, 1806,
reads thus : " Any person fighting a duel, challeng-
ing, or accepting a challenge, shall pay the sum of
500 dollars, and suffer one year's imprisonment
at hard labor, in the same manner as convicted
felons are now punished." You therefore see, that,
had Henry Clay been tried by our laws, he would,
at three several times, have been sent to our Peni-
We now ask you to listen to the warnings of
some of the wisest and best men in our land. Says
the distinguished Dr. Beecher, in a sermon deliv-
ered about two years after Hamilton was murdered
by Aaron Burr,—
" The inconsistency of voting for a duellist is glaring. To
profess attachment for liberty, and vote for a man whose
principles and practice are alike hostile to liberty, is a farce
too ridiculous to be acted by freemen.
" In our prayers we request that God would bestow upon
us good rulers 5 4 just men, walking in the fear of God. 5 But
by voting for the duellist we demonstrate the insincerity of
" But you may say, if I do not vote for the man on my side,
will not this be helping his antagonist, and will not this be as
bad as if I voted directly ? No . . It is certainly a different
thing whether a vile man comes into power by your agency,
or in spite of it. But suppose the duellist in all respects,
excepting this crime, is a better man than his opponent ; of
two evils may we not choose the least ? Yes, of two natural
evils you may ; if you must lose a finger or an arm, cut off
the finger ; but of two sinful things you may choose neither,
and therefore you may not vote for one bad man, a mur-
derer, to keep out another bad man. It is * to do evil that
good may come,' and of all who do this, the Apostle declares
6 their damnation is just. 5
" And now let me ask you, in conclusion, will you any
longer, either deliberately or thoughtlessly, vote for these
guilty men ? Will you renounce allegiance to your Maker,
and cast the Bible behind your back ? Will you confide in
men void of the fear of God, and destitute of moral principle?
Will you intrust LIFE to MURDERERS and LIBERTY
to DESPOTS ? Will you bestow your suffrage, when you know
that, by withholding it, you may arrest this deadly evil — when
the remedy is so easy, so entirely in your power 3 and when
God, if you do not punish these guilty men, will most inevi-
tably punish you ? "
Says Dr. Sprague? of Albany, In a sermon
preached after Cilley was murdered by Graves^—
" Let every citizen, when he goes to the ballot-box, in-
quire whether it will be safe to put his dearest interests into
the keeping of a murderer ; and let him resolve, as he would
keep a conscience void of offence, that no man who gives or
accepts a challenge, shall ever have his vote.' 3
With reference to the assertion often made 3 that
fC we must choose the least of two evils/ 5 Dr. Bush-
nell ? of Hartford* thus most solemnly exclaims :—
" Merciful God ! has it come to this, that in choosing rulers,
we are simply to choose whether the nation shall be governed
by seven devils or ten ? Is this the alternative offered to our
consciences and our liberties ? There never was a maxim
more corrupt, more totally bereft of principle, than this— that
between bad men,you are to choose the least wicked of the two. ??
58 PEJSfNS YL VA NIA
What now, fellow citizens, shall be thought of
those who, within a few weeks, have been running,
in thousands, to hear the harangues of GRAVES
the MURDERER, and who would elevate to the
Presidency THE GREAT DUELLIST OF
The candidate of the Democratic party is
JAMES K. POLK.
In the first edition of this Address, fellow-citizens,
you will remember that the name of Martin Van
Buren was inserted in this place. He was evi-
dently the decided favorite of the great majority
of his party at the North ; and no one doubted that
he would receive the nomination of the Convention
which was to assemble at Baltimore. Well, the
Convention met. The Slave power insisted that
two-thirds of the votes should be necessary to con-
stitute a choice ; northern democrats yielded, as
usual, to their masters ; when lo ! Mr. Van Buren,
who at first had 146 out of 266 votes, is finally re-
jected, and James K, Polk, of Tennessee, receives
the vote of the Convention.
But what had Mr. Van Buren done to displease
the slaveholders ? We will tell vou : He had
written a letter— the most creditable document he
ever wrote — against the immediate annexation of
Texas ; that scheme of the Slave power to extend
its nefarious u institution." He, therefore, received
but TWELVE votes from the Slave states, and a
slaveholder is brought forward, who is an earnest
advocate of Texas annexation, with all its at-
tendant wickedness and consequent calamities ; and
who has distinguished himself in nothing but in
the tyranny with which he exercised his authority
for four years, while Speaker of the House, in
enforcing the u gag rule," to an extent that not
even its notorious author had ever contemplated.
And now we would ask, with all earnestness,
how much longer, Citizens of the Free states, are
ye to remain in vassalage to the slaveholding
demagogues of the South ? How much longer
will you do the bidding of that mere handful of
men, who, with the words of democracy on their
lips, are not only themselves trampling upon the
dearest rights of two and a half millions of people
in their own region, but have left no arts untried
to make you their " allies " in support of their
wicked system ? Democrats of the North ! ye
who possess some self-respect, how much longer
will you submit to these things ? Answer at the
ballot-box ; and let the insolent " overseers" know^
in a language which they will understand, that
they may rule slaves, but shall not rule fb,eemein t »
We now present to you our own candidate,
JAMES GILLESPIE BIRNEY,
Of Michigan, and invite your strictest scrutiny
into his character, and his qualifications for the
60 PENNS YL VAN I A
high office for which we have nominated him.
Born in Kentucky, in 1792, a graduate of
Princeton College, in 18 10, and a Student of
Law, at Philadelphia, he began the practice of his
profession at Danville, his native place, and sub-
sequently pursued it at Huntsville, Alabama. We
have no space to go into the particulars of his life.
His early attention to the subject of Slavery ; his
acceptance of the agency of the American Colo-
nization Society, for the Southern states, as a
means by which he thought he might do good to
the slave ; his subsequent convictions of the utter
Inadequacy of that bubble scheme to effect the
alleged object ; his long and most able letter of
resignation as Agent, and as Vice-President of the
Society, in which he makes the just remark, " we
are living down the foundation principles of our
happy institutions;" his noble act of giving free-
dom to all his own slaves ; his efforts, against abuse
and obloquy and threats of personal violence, to
establish a free press in Cincinnati ; the great
ability he displayed in conducting that press ; his
speeches and essays and constitutional arguments
on the subject of slavery, all these incidents of his
life, and many more as creditable that might be
named, give abundant evidence of his ample
qualifications for the highest office in our govern-
ment. But his talents and attainments, however
great, would be nothing in our estimation, if they
were not accompanied by something higher, purer,
nobler. It is his stern integrity of character ; it is his
high moral courage, it is his devoted and consistent
piety, that make James Gillespie Birney
eminently deserving the vote of every good man.
Our candidate for the Vice-Presidency,
THOMAS MORRIS, of Ohio, is one also in
every way worthy of your confidence. While to
his moral character no exceptions can be taken, in
his public career he has shown himself to be a
true Democrat by his regard for the rights of the
people and the whole people. After that notorious
anti-abolition speech of Henry Clay, to which we
have before referred, Thomas Morris, of Ohio,,
belonging to the so-called Democratic party, pre-
sented a preamble and a series of resolutions to the
Senate, drawn up with great ability, to meet the
sophistry and the declamation of the Kentucky
senator. He knew that to aet thus would be to
lose his position with his own party ; but he took
the course which duty, not self-interest, pointed
out, and at the next election he was left at home
to enjoy the richer rewards of an approving con-
" More true joy Marcellus exiled feels,
Than Caesar with a Senate at his heels."
Our candidate for Governor is
DU. FRANCIS JULIUS LEMOYNE,
Of Washington county. Of him we need say but
little, as he is well known throughout the State,
62 PENJSfS YL VAN I A
as much for his pure and elevated character, as for
his distinguished intellectual abilities. Of strict
integrity himself, he would leave no honest efforts
untried that our State should have, at home and
abroad, the same character for integrity, by the
just payment of all our debts. True, he has
fought no battles, but those of moral principle in
the cause of human rights. But the time has
nearly gone by, we trust, when the fact of a man's
having been engaged in one or more wars, shall
be thought to make him any better qualified for
filling the chair of State.
Such, fellow citizens, are the candidates which
we present to you. Into their characters, and into
the characters of all whom the Liberty Party, now
or hereafter., may nominate for office, we invite
your strictest scrutiny. If they be not found such
as must meet the approbation of every good man
who desires to see the highest oifices in our
country filled by " just men, ruling in the fear of
God ;" men who will be a " terror to evil doers,
and a praise to them that do well ; " do not give
them your suffrage. But if they be, come and
help us to put them in. As to the probabilities of
our success, we have everything to encourage us,
not only in the JUSTICE, but also in the
PROGRESS OF OUR CAUSE.
The scenes of mob violence that occurred in the
city of Boston, in 1835, when those who spoke
publicly against slavery were threatened with
every indignity, are well known. Now the Liberty
Party hold their meetings in " old Faneuil Hall/'
the " cradle of Liberty/' and that immense room
is crowded with eager listeners. A daily Liberty
paper, also, conducted with signal talent, is pub-
lished in that city ; while the vote of Massa-
chusetts, from a few hundred in 1841, has reached
to nearly 9000 in 1843. ^ n J 836, a mob at
Cincinnati tore down the press, and hunted for
the life of our candidate for the Presidency, and
assailed with personal violence others well known
as friends of the cause a Now there is published in
that city, also, a daily paper, which, with consum-
mate ability, advocates our principles. In 1837,
resolutions from the state of Massachusetts, on the
subject of slavery, were thrown by Congress, with
contempt, upon the table ; now, resolutions from
the same state are referred to a large committee^
of which the great champion of the right of
petition is chairman. The majority in Congress
against receiving all petitions on the subject of
slavery, at first very large, has been growing less
and less every year ; until, at last, the " gag rule/ 5
as it is called, was lately carried but by barely one
vote. In 1837, Dr. Crandall, of New York, was
thrown into prison, in the District of Columbia,,
for having anti-slavery pamphlets in his trunk*
Now, a voice breaks forth from the dark walls of
a prison in that very spot ; the sound penetrates
64 PENNS YL VA NIA
the doors of the Capitol ; and the petition to
Congress, from a colored man, to interpose in his
behalf, is referred, by a large majority, to the Com-
mittee on the Judiciary. In 1840, the first year
of the organization of the Liberty Party, our vote
for President was hardly 7000 in all the states ;
while the last year, even for state officers, it
amounted to upwards of 60, COO : thus more than
doubling itself every successive year. The returns
that have been received of a few elections this
Spring show a still greater increase. New Hamp-
shire, which last Fall gave only 3594 votes, has
this Spring given about 6000. It requires but
little arithmetic to see how soon, at this rate, our
cause will be triumphant. Every day we are re-
ceiving, in all the Free states, large accessions to
our numbers, of true and honest hearts ; while we
hear from the Slave states themselves, voices all
around, to encourage us in our labors. In Delaware
many of its best citizens are interested in the cause,
and lately held a conference to adopt measures for
the abolition of slavery in that state. In Maryland
the infamous slaveholders' convention was an emi-
nent instance how " God makes the wrath of man
to praise him," as it doubtless advanced the cause
of human freedom in that state very many years ;
for an able weekly paper is now published in Bal-
timore that takes strong anti-slavery ground. In
Virginia we receive the most cheering intelligence,
that, in a number of counties, systematic efforts are
making to circulate anti-slavery publications, and
to spread anti-slavery principles. In Tennessee a
regular anti-slavery society has been established.
In Kentucky one gentleman writes us, " The
Liberty Party is destined to be the most powerful
auxiliary in the hands of Providence for the over-
throw of American slavery ;" while that noble
champion of human rights, Cassius M. Clay, by
his letters and speeches, and unceasing personal
efforts, is gaining for himself a name that will grow
brighter and brighter as time rolls on.
Thus far at home. But if we look abroad, we
find quite as much to gladden our hearts. The
happy workings of emancipation in the British
West Indies have exceeded the most sanguine ex-
pectations of its warmest friends. The order and
industry that there universally prevail — the
wonderful improvement in morals, in education,
and in everything indicative of a nation's pros-
perity, are all clear manifestations of the blessing
of God that attends an effort of justice and philan-
thropy. The Emperor of Russia has already done
much, and means to do still more, for ameliorating
the condition of his serfs. France and Holland
will, doubtless, soon take the same steps with their
colonial possessions that Great Britain has with
hers. The Bey of Tunis, even, has abolished the
internal slave trade throughout his dominions, and
has himself set to his people the noble example of
giving liberty to all his own slaves, and of requiring
66 PENN8 YL VAN I A
all the officers of his court to do likewise ; while
Mexico and the Republics of South America are
determined that their practice shall be consistent
with their avowed principles of liberty. Our
country, as you thus see, fellow citizens, must
therefore move soon in the great work, or we shall
be left alone in our disgrace, with no one to sym-
pathize with us, no one to countenance us in our
course — a course as inconsistent w r ith our profes-
sions, as it is disgraceful, and odious, and wicked
Come, then, men of Pennsylvania, citizens of
the same state as Franklin, and Rush, and Wilson,
and the Morrises, who thought as we think, and
who, were they now living, would doubtless act as
we are now acting,— come and join us in this good
w r ork. Join us, to use such moral means as to
correct public sentiment throughout the region
where slavery exists, and to impress upon the
people of the Free states a manly sense of their
own rights. Join us, to place " just men " in all
our public offices ; men whose example a whole
people may safely imitate. Join us, to free our
General Government from the ignominious re-
proach of slavery 5 to restore to our country those
principles which our fathers so laboured to esta-
blish ; and to hand these principles down afresh to
successive generations. It is the cause of truth, of
humanity, and of God, to which we invite your
aid. It is a cause of which you never need be
ashamed. Living, you may be thankful, and
dying, you may be thankful, for having labored in
it. We have, as co-laborers with us, the noblest
allies that man can wish. Within, we have the
deepest convictions of conscience; the clearest
deductions of reason ; and, all over the world,
wherever man is found, the first, the most ardent
longings of the human soul. Without, we have
the happiness of nearly three millions of the
human race ; the honor, as well as the best in-
terests of our whole country ; and the universal
consent of all good men, whose moral vision is
not obscured by the mists of a low, misguided
selfishness : while we seem to hear, as it were, the
voices of the great and the good, the patriot and
the philanthropist, of a past generation, calling to
us, and cheering us on. But, above all these,
and beyond all these, we have with us the highest
attributes of God, JUSTICE and MERCY.
With such allies, and in such a cause, who can
doubt on which side the victory will ultimately
May He who guides the destinies of nations,
and without whose aid " they labor in vain that
build," so incline your hearts to exert your whole
influence to place in all our public offices just and
good men, that our country may be preserved,
her best interests advanced, and her institutions,
free in reality as in name, handed down to the
68 PENNSYLVANIA ADDRESS.
Signed on behalf of the Eastern State Com-
mittee; and by their direction,
Charles Dexter Cleveland,
Approved by the Western State Committee,
Russell Errett, Chairman.
S soon as the following Address ap-
peared, I was struck, as indeed all who
read it were, with its great eloquence
and power; but I felt that its in-
fluence would be, comparatively, very much limited
in consequence both of the form and of the mediums in
which it appeared,— in solid columns, and in two or
three anti-slavery papers of but small circulation. I,
therefore, wrote to the author, asking of him the per-
mission to divide it into appropriate headings, to add
statistical notes corroborative of its general statements,
and to have it stereotyped in a pamphlet form. In
reply, he gave me full liberty to do with it whatever I
thought would be best for the great cause we both had
so much at heart. Accordingly, after making such
sub-divisions as I thought appropriate, and adding such
statistical notes as I thought would fully confirm the
assertions of the Address as to the alarming encroach-
ments, as well as the baleful influence of the Slave
power, I was enabled, by the generous contributions of
a few friends, to have it stereotyped, and to print
twenty thousand copies. These were soon disposed of;
and so many were subsequently ordered from different
72 PREFATORY REMARKS.
parts of the country, that not less than one hundred
thousand in all were printed and distributed ; it being
pronounced by many as " decidedly the most efficient
campaign document the Liberty Party could use."
Since that time the author has, as is well known,
risen to high political and judicial distinction. But
nothing that he has done or written in these positions
will place him any higher in the estimation of posterity
than this noble Address, when the time and circumstances
in which it was written are considered. Had he then
gone with the so-called " Democratic" party, he might
soon have filled almost any office of trust or honor he
might desire. But he chose to come out from it and to
be separate, preferring truth and righteousness with
private life, rather than any public elevation based on
falsehood and wrong. The result has been, that at this
present time he has awarded to him, by the very best
people in every part of our land, a confidence in his
wisdom, ability, and integrity of character exceeded by
that in no other public man now living.
C. D, C.
THE ADDRESS OF THE SOUTHERN
AND WESTERN LIBERTY
I would not, of course, thus republish this Address of my
early college friend without his approbation. Accordingly,
in the latter part of 1865 I wrote to him on the subject. He
replied, with characteristic kindness, in favor of my design,
saying, in substance, that he would like to see the two
Addresses bound together in print as their authors were in
friendship. Pressing literary avocations, however, and health
not the most robust, prevented me from giving my attention
to the matter at that time. But having come abroad for my
health in June, 1866, and having now, in the Spring of 1867,
a little leisure in this great metropolis, I have thought it a
very favorable opportunity for completing the work so long
C. D. C.
London, May, 1867,
THE ADDRESS OF THE
SOUTHERN AND WESTERN LIBERTY
HELD AT CINCINNATI, JUNE II AND 12, 1845,*
TO THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES.
WITH NOTES BY A CITIZEN OF
AVING assembled in Convention as
friends of Constitutional Liberty, who
believe the practice of slaveholding to
be inconsistent with the fundamental
principles of Republicanism, of Religion, and of
Humanity, we think it our duty to declare frankly
to you, our fellow citizens, the views which we
hold, the principles by which we are governed, and
the objects which we desire, by your co-operation,
to accomplish. We ask and expect from you a can-
did and respectful hearing. We are not a band of
fanatics, as some foolishly imagine, and others slan-
derously assert, bent on the overthrow of all Govern-
See note 1 in Appendix.
merit and all Religion. We are citizens of the United
States, having our homes in the West and the South-
west, some in the Slave states, and some in the
Free, bound to our country by the most endearing
ties and the most solemn obligations, filled with the
most ardent desires for her prosperity and glory,
and resolved, so far as in us lies, to carry forward
and perfect the great work of individual, social, and
civil elevation which our fathers nobly began.
The American Revolution was not a mere political
accident. It was an inevitable result of a long train
of causes, all conspiring to make men impatient of
oppression. It was a necessary battle in the pro-
gress of the great conflict between Despotism and
Freedom, between the Aristocratic and the Demo-
Our fathers so regarded it. They claimed for
themselves no new or peculiar rights: they only
demanded security in the enjoyment of those rights
to which, as descendants of Englishmen, they were
entitled under the Great Charter : to which, as men,
they were entitled under the grant of the Creator.
They asserted the equal right of all men to the im-
munities which they claimed for themselves. It was
impossible that they should not see and feel the
gross inconsistency of the practice of slaveholding
with their avowed political faith. The writings of
the Revolutionary period afford the amplest evidence
that they did perceive and feel it. But slavery was
already in the country, interwoven with domestic
habits, pecuniary interests, and legal rights. It ex-
isted under the sanction of the laws of the several
colonies beyond the reach of the direct legislation
of Congress. The consequences of an immediate
affranchisement of the enslaved were, also, generally
dreaded. Our fathers, therefore, confined them-
selves to general declarations of the great doctrine
of equal rights, which lies at the basis of all just
government ; and without directly interfering with
the legislation of any particular member of the con-
federacy, endeavoured to establish the national Go-
vernment and Policy upon such principles as would
bring about, at length, the desired result of Uni-
We solicit your particular attention, fellow citi-
zens, to this statement. It .has been the practice of
many to represent the American government as the
patron and guardian of slavery. Some have even
dared to say that it was the purpose of the foun-
ders of the 'government that it should fulfil this
office. We join issue with all such persons. We
denounce all such representations as libels upon
the great men who won and bequeathed to us the
precious heritage of Free Institutions, We insist
that from the assembling of the First Congress in
1774, until its final organization under the existing
constitution in 1 789, the American Government
was anti-slavery in its character and policy.
The importance of this position, and the proba-
bility that this address will be read by some who
have not examined it, justify the appropriation of
some space to the proof of it.
We therefore invite your attention to a memorable
act of the First Congress, which assembled in 1774.
The Non-Importation, Non-Consumption, and Non-
Exportation Agreement of that illustrious body,
signed in their individual and representative capa-
cities, by the delegates of all the represented colo-
nies, and promulgated to the world as the solemn
act of United America, contained this remarkable
clause :— " We will neither import nor purchase
any slave imported after the first day of December
next : after which time we will wholly discontinue
the slave trade, and neither be concerned in it our-
selves, nor will we hire our vessels or sell our com-
modities or manufactures to those who may be
concerned in it." The entire agreement of which
this clause was part was not, indeed, intended to
be of perpetual obligation : yet the singularly em-
phatic phraseology of this part of it manifests clearly
enough the understanding; of the delegates as to the
obligation they assumed for themselves and for the
country. It was, in fact, a deliberate national vow
and covenant against all traffic in human beings,
and was so understood by the people at large. Vir-
ginia proceeded, soon after, to abolish the slave
trade by a solemn act of legislation, and her exam-
ple was followed by all or nearly all the States.
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
Two years afterwards, the Declaration of Indepen-
dence was promulgated to the world. In a single
sentence of this great Act, our fathers imbodied the
fundamental principles on which they proposed to
establish the free government of the United States.
" We hold these truths to be self-evident ; that all
men are created equal ; that they are endowed by
their Creator with certain inalienable rights ; that
among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of
happiness." In these words, for the first time in
the history of the world, w T as the doctrine of the
inalienable right of every man to life, liberty, and
the pursuit of happiness, solemnly proclaimed as
THE BASIS OF A NATIONAL POLITICAL FAITH.
This declaration pledged its authors, and the nation
which made it its own, by adoption, to eternal hos-
tility to every form of despotism and oppression.
With this declaration inscribed upon their banners,
they went into the war of the Revolution, invoking
the attestation of the " Supreme Judge of the world"
to the rectitude of their purposes.
After a protracted and dubious struggle, the in-
dependence of the American Republic was at length
achieved, and the attention of Congress was turned
to the establishment and extension of free institu-
tions. Beyond the Alleghany Mountains, then the
western limit of civilization, stretched a vast terri-
tory, untrodden except by the savage, but destined,
in the hope and faith of the patriots of the Revolu-
tion, to be the seat of mighty states. To this terri-
tory, during the war just terminated, various States
had set up conflicting claims : while the Congress
had urged upon all, the cession of their several pre-
tensions for the common good. The recommenda-
tions of Congress prevailed. Among the States
which signalized their patriotism by the cession of
claims to Western Territory, Virginia was pre-emi-
nently distinguished, both by the magnitude of her
grant and the spirit in which it was made. The
claim of Virginia comprehended almost all that is
now Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. She yielded it all,
almost with no other condition than that the terri-
tory should be disposed of for the common benefit,
and finally erected into Republican States. The
absence of all stipulations in behalf of slavery in
these cessions, and especially in that of Virginia,
furnishes strong evidence of the prevalence of anti-
slavery sentiment at that day. But the action of
Congress, in relation to the territory thus acquired,
supplies decisive proof.
ORDINANCE OF 1787.
It was in 1787 that Congress promulgated the
celebrated Ordinance for the Government of the
Territory north-west of the river Ohio. In this
ordinance, for the purpose of " extending the fun-
damental principles of civil and religious liberty \
* * to fix and establish those principles as the basis
of all laws, constitutions, and governments, which
for ever thereafter should be formed in said terri-
tory/' Congress established " certain articles of
compact between the original States and the people
and States in the territory to remain for ever
unalterable, unless by common consent." One of
these articles of compact declared that there should
be "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in
the territory, otherwise than in the punishment of
crimes ;" providing, however, that the right of
retaking fugitives from service should be preserved
to the citizens of the original States. This ordi-
nance was adopted by the unanimous vote of all
the States, there being but a single individual nega-
tive, which was given by a member from New
York. Upon the question of excluding slavery,
we may fairly assume that there was entire una-
It seems to us impossible to conceive of a more
significant indication of National Policy. The
Congress was about to fix for ever the relation of
five future States to the question of slavery.
Under the influence of the liberal opinions of 1776,
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut,
Rhode Island, Vermont and Pennsylvania, had
already abolished or had taken measures for abo-
lishing slavery within their limits. It was expected
that other Atlantic States would follow their
example. The creation of five non-slaveholding
States in the West would evidently secure a per-
manent majority on the side of Freedom against
Slavery, There was, at that time, no other national
territory out of which slaveholding States could be
carved: nor was there any thought of acquiring
territory with such an object. And yet the votes of
Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina,
South Carolina and Georgia were given, and
unanimously given, for the positive exclusion of
slavery from all the vast region now possessed by
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin,
and for the virtual restriction of the right of
reclaiming fugitive servants to cases of escape from
the original States. There was very little compro-
mise here. There was clear, unqualified, decisive
action in the fulfilment and in renewal of the solemn
pledge given in 1774, reiterated in 1776, and in
pursuance of the settled national policy of restrict-
ing slavery to the original States, and of excluding
it from all national territory and from all new
It is to be borne in mind that neither in this
ordinance, nor in the national acts which preceded
it, did the Congress undertake to legislate upon the
actual personal relations of the inhabitants of the
original States. They sought to impress upon the
national character and the national policy the stamp
of Liberty ; but they did not, so far as we can see,
attempt to interfere with the internal arrangements
of any State, however inconsistent those arrange-
ments might be with that character and policy.
They expected, however, and they had reason to
expect, that slavery would be excluded from all
places of national jurisdiction, and that whatever
in the arrangements of particular States savoured
of despotism and oppression, and especially that
the system of slavery, which concentrates in itself
the whole essence and all the attributes of despotism
and oppression, would give way before the steady
action of the national faith and the national policy.
Such was the state of opinion when the Con-
vention for framing the Constitution of the United
States assembled. The ordinance of 1787, which
was the most significant and decisive expression of
this opinion, was promulgated while the Constitu-
tion-Convention was in session. The Constitution,
therefore, is to be examined with reference to the
public acts which preceded it, and the prevalent
And the first thing which arrests the attention of
the inquirer is the remarkable preamble which is
prefixed to the operative clauses of the instrument,
in which the objects to be attained by it are parti-
cularly enumerated.— These are, " to form a more
perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic
tranquillity, provide for the common defence, pro-
mote the general welfare, and secure the blessings
of liberty." It would be singular, indeed, if a
constitution adopted for such objects, and under
such circumstances, should be found to contain
guaranties of slavery. We should expect, on the
contrary, that, although the national government
created by it, might not be directly authorized to
act upon the slavery already existing in the States,
all power to create or continue the system by
national sanction would be carefully withheld, and
some safeguards would be provided against its
further extension. And such, in our judgment,
was the true effect of the Constitution. We are
not prepared to deny, on the one hand, that
several clauses of the instrument were intended to
refer to slaves ; nor to admit, on the other, all the
consequences which the friends of slavery would
deduce from these clauses. We abstain from these
questions. It is enough for our purpose, that it
seems clear that neither the framers of the Consti-
tution, nor the people who adopted it, intended to
violate the pledges given in the Covenant of 1774,
in the Declaration of 1776, in the Ordinance of
1787 ; that they did not purpose to confer on Con-
gress or the General Government any power to
establish, or continue, or sanction slavery anywhere;
that, if they did not intend to authorize direct
national legislation for the removal of the slavery
existing in particular States under their local laws,
they did intend to keep the action of the national
government free from all connection with the
system; to discountenance and discourage it in the
States ; and to favour the abolition of it by State
authority — a result, then, generally expected ; and,
finally, to provide against its further extension by
confining the power to acquire new territory, and
admit new States to the General Government, the
line of whose policy was clearly marked out by the
ordinance and preceding public acts.
We cannot think that any unprejudiced student
of the Constitution, examining it in the light of
precedent action, and contemporary opinion, can
arrive at any other conclusion than this. No
amendment of the Constitution would be needed
to adapt it to the new condition of things, were
every State in the Union to abolish slavery forth-
with. There is not a line of the instrument which
refers to slavery as a national institution, to be
upheld by national law. On the contrary, every
clause which ever has been or can be construed as
referring to slavery, treats it as the creature of
State law, and dependent wholly upon State law
for its existence and continuance. So careful were
the framers of the Constitution to negative all
implied sanction of slaveholding, that not only were
the terms " slave/' " slavery," and " slaveholding"
excluded, but even the word "servitude," which
was at first inserted to express the condition, under
the local law, of the persons who were to be
delivered up, should they escape from one State
into another, was, on motion of Mr. Randolph of
Virginia, stricken out, and " service" unanimously
inserted, " the former being thought to express the
condition of slaves, and the latter the obligation of
That such was the general understanding of the
people will be the more manifest if we extend our
examination beyond the Constitution as originally
adopted, to the amendments subsequently incor-
porated into it. One of these amendments, as
originally proposed by Virginia, provided that " no
freeman should be deprived of life, liberty, or pro-
perty, but by the law of the land/' and was copied,
substantially, from the English Magna Charta.
Congress altered the phraseology by inserting, in
lieu of the words quoted, " no PERSON shall be
deprived of life, liberty, or property, WITHOUT
DUE PROCESS OF LAW;" and, thus altered, the
proposed amendment became part of the Constitu-
tion. We are aware that it has been held by dis-
tinguished authority, that the section of the amended
Constitution, which contains this provision, ope-
rates as a limitation only on national and not upon
State legislation. Without controverting this opi-
nion here, it is enough to say that, at the least, the
clause prohibits the General Government from
sanctioning slaveholding, and renders the continu-
ance of slavery, as a legal relation, in any place of
exclusive national jurisdiction, impossible.
For, what is slavery ? * It is the complete and
* See Note z in Appendix.
absolute subjection of one person to the control and
disposal of another person, by legalized force. We
need not argue that no person can be, rightfully,
compelled to submit to such control and disposal.
All such subjection must originate in force ; and,
private force not being strong enough to accomplish
the purpose, public force, in the form of law, must
lend its aid. The Government comes to the help
of the individual slaveholder, and punishes resist-
ance to his will, and compels submission. The
Government, therefore, in the case of every
individual slave, is the real enslaver, depriv
ing each person enslaved of all liberty and all pro-
perty, and all that makes life dear, without imputa-
tion of crime or any legal process whatsoever.
This is precisely what the Government of the
United States is forbidden to do by the Constitu-
tion. The Government of the United States, there-
fore, cannot create or continue the relation of master
and slave. Nor can that relation be created or
continued in any place, district, or territory, over
which the jurisdiction of the National Government
is exclusive ; for slavery cannot subsist a moment
after the support of the public force has been with-
We need not go further to prove that slaveholding
in the States can have no rightful sanction or sup-
port from national authority, but must depend
wholly upon State law for existence and con-
We have thus proved, from the Public Acts of
the Nation, that, up to the time of the adoption of
the Constitution, the people of the United States
were an anti-slavery people ; that the sanction of
the national approbation was never given, and never
intended to be given, to slaveholding ; that, on the
contrary, the Government of the United States was
expressly forbidden to deprive any person of liberty,
without due legal process ; and that the policy of
excluding slavery from all national territory, and
restricting it within the limits of the original States,
was early adopted and practically applied.
SENTIMENTS OF DISTINGUISHED MEN OF THE
Permit us now, fellow citizens, to call your atten-
tion to the recorded opinions of the Patriots and
Sages of the Revolutionary Era ; from which you
will learn that many of them, so far from desiring
that the General Government should sanction
slavery or extend its limits, were displeased that it
was not, in terms, empowered to take action for its
final extinction in the States, and that almost all
looked forward to its final removal by State autho-
rity with expectation and hope.
The Preamble of the Abolition Act of Pennsyl-
vania of 1780, exhibits clearly the state of many
minds. " Weaned," says the General Assembly,
" by a long course of experience from those narrow
prejudices and partialities we had imbibed, we
find our hearts enlarged with kindness and benevo-
lence towards men of all conditions and nations ;
and we conceive ourselves, at this particular period,
extraordinarily called upon by the blessing we
have received, to manifest the sincerity of our pro-
fessions and to give a substantial proof of our
The sentiments of Mr. Jefferson are too well
known to justify large quotations from his writings.
We invite, however, your attention to two sentences;
and will observe, in passing, that his opinions were
shared by almost every Virginian of distinguished
patriotism or ability.
In his Notes on Virginia, he said : u I think a
change already perceptible since the origin of the
present revolution. The spirit of the master is
abating, that of the slave is rising from the dust,
his condition mollifying, the way, I hope, pre-
paring, under the auspices of Heaven, for a total
emancipation; and that is disposed, in the order of
events, to be with the consent of the masters, rather
than by their extirpation."
On another occasion he said: " Nobody wishes
more ardently than I to see an abolition not onlv of
the trade, but of the condition of slavery ; and cer-
tainly nobody will be more willing to encounter
every sacrifice for that object."
In a letter to John F. Mercer, George Washingf
ton said: "I never mean, unless some particular
circumstances should compel me to it^ to possess
90 CINCINNA TI
another slave by purchase ; it being among my
first wishes to see some plan adopted by which
slavery in this country may be abolished by law."
In a letter to Sir John Sinclair, assigning rea-
sons for the depreciation of Southern lands, he said :
" There are in Pennsylvania laws for the gradual
abolition of slavery, which neither Virginia nor
Maryland have at present, but which nothing is
more certain than that they must have, and at a
period not remote." *
General Lee of Virginia, in his " Memoirs on the
Revolutionary War," remarked, " The Constitution
of the United States, adopted lately with so much
difficulty, has effectually provided against this evil,
(the slave-trade,) after a few years. It is much to
be lamented, that, having done so much in this way,
a provision had not been made for the gradual
abolition of slavery."
Judge Tucker, of Virginia, in a letter to the
General Assembly of that State, in 1796, recom-
mending the abolition of slavery, and speaking of
the slaves in Virginia, said : " Should we not at the
time of the Revolution have loosed their chains and
broken their fetters ? or, if the difficulties and dan-
gers of such an experiment prohibited the attempt
during the convulsions of a revolution, is it not our
duty to embrace the first moment of constitutional
health and vigour to effectuate so desirable an
* See Note 3 in Appendix.
object, and to remove from us a stigma with which
our enemies will never fail to upbraid us, nor our
consciences to reproach us ? "
Luther Martin, of Maryland, left the Convention
before the Constitution was finally completed. He
opposed its adoption, and assigned, in his report to
the Maryland legislature, as a leading reason for
his opposition, the absence from the instrument of
express provisions against slavery. He said that, it
was urged in the Convention, " that by the pro-
posed system we were giving the General Govern-
ment full and absolute power to regulate commerce?
under which general power it would have a right
to restrain or totally prohibit the slave-trade ; it
must, therefore, appear to the world absurd and
disgraceful to the last degree, that we should except
from the exercise of that power the only branch of
commerce which is unjustifiable in its nature, and
contrary to the rights of mankind :— that, on the
contrary, we ought rather to prohibit expressly in
our Constitution the further importation of slaves,
and to authorize the General Government, from
time to time, to make such regulations as should be
thought most advantageous for the gradual aboli-
tion of slavery, and the emancipation of the slaves
which are already in the States.''
James Wilson, of Pennsylvania, signed the Con-
stitution, taking a very different view of its pro-
visions, bearing upon slavery, from that of Mr.
Martin, but agreeing with him entirely as to
slavery itself. In the Ratification Convention of
Pennsylvania, speaking of the clause relating to the
power of Congress over the slave-trade after twenty
years, he said: "I consider this clause as laying
the foundation for banishing slavery out of this
country. It will produce the same kind of gradual
change which was produced in Pennsylvania : the
new States, which are to be formed, will be
under the control of Congress in this particular,
and slavery will never be introduced
among them. It presents us with the pleasing
prospect that the rights of mankind will be acknow-
ledged and established throughout the Union,"
In the Ratification Convention of Massachusetts,
Gen. Heath declared that a Slavery was confined
to the States now existing : it could not be
extended. By their ordinance Congress had
declared that the new States should be repub-
lican, and have no slavery"*
In the Ratification Convention of North Caror
lina, Mr, Iredell, afterwards a Justice of the
Supreme Court of the United States, observed,
"When the entire abolition of slavery takes place,
it will be an event which must be pleasing to
gveiy generous mind and every friend of human
In the Ratification Convention of Virginia, Mr.
Johnson said, u The principle of emancipation has
«.-..., f See Note 4 in Appendix.
begun since the revolution. Let us do what we
will, it will come round/ 5
In the course of the debate in the Congress of
1789, the first under the Constitution, on a peti-
tion against the slave-trade, Mr. Parker, of Vir-
ginia, remarked^, that " he hoped Congress would
do all that lay in their power to restore human
nature to its inherent privileges, and, if possible,
wipe off the stigma which America laboured under,
The inconsistency in our principles, with which we
are justly charged, should be done away, that we
may show by our actions the pure beneficence of
the doctrine which we held out to the world in our
Declaration of Independence*" In the same de-
bate Mr. Brown, of North Carolina, observed,
" The emancipation of the slaves will be effected in
time : it ought to be a gradual business ; but he
hoped Congress would not precipitate it to the
great injury of the Southern States." And Mr.
Jackson, of Georgia, complained, " That it was
the fashion of the day to favour the liberty of
These citations might be indefinitely multiplied,
but we forbear. Well might Mr. Leigh, of Vir-
ginia, remark, in 1832, " I thought, till Yery
lately, that it was known to everybody, that
during the revolution, and for many years after,
the abolition of slavery was a favourite topic with
many of our ablest statesmen, who entertained,
with respect, all the schemes which wisdom or
ingenuity could suggest for accomplishing the
THE CONSEQUENCES EXPECTED TO FOLLOW
SUCH ACTS AND OPINIONS.
Fellow Citizens: The public acts, and the
recorded opinions of the fathers of the revolution
are before you. Let us pause here. Let us reflect
what would have been the condition of the country
had the original policy of the nation been steadily
pursued, and contrast what would have been with
At the time of the adoption of the Constitution,
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New
Hampshire, and Pennsylvania, had become non-
slaveholding States. By the ordinance of 1787,
provision had been made for the erection of five
other non-slaveholding States. The admission of
Vermont and the District of Maine, as separate
States, without slavery, was also anticipated. There
was no doubt that New York and New Jersey
would follow the example of Pennsylvania. Thus
it was supposed to be certain that the Union would
ultimately embrace at least fourteen Free states, and
that slavery would be excluded from all territory
thereafter acquired by the nation, and from all
States created out of such territory.
This was the true understanding upon which the
Constitution was adopted. It was never imagined
that new Slave states were to be admitted ; unless,
AD DEES S. 95
perhaps, which seems probable, it was contemplated
to admit the western districts of Virginia and North
Carolina, now known as Kentucky and Tennessee,
as States, without any reference to the slavery
already established in them. In no event, to which
our fathers look forward, could the number of Slave
states exceed eight, while it was almost certain
that the number of Free states would be at least
fourteen. It was never supposed that slavery was
to be a cherished interest of the country, or even a
permanent institution of any State. It was expected
that all the States, stimulated by the examples
before them, and urged by their own avowed prin-
ciples recorded in the Declaration, would, at no
distant day, put an end to slavery within their
respective limits. So strong was this expectation,
that James Campbell, in an address at Phila-
delphia, before the Society of the Cincinnati, in
1787, which was attended by the Constitution
Convention, then in session, declared, " The time is
not far distant when our sister States, in imitation
of our example, shall turn their vassals into free-
men." And Jonathan Edwards predicted in 1 79 1 ,
that, in fifty years from this time, it will be as dis-
graceful for a man to hold a negro slave, as to be
guilty of common robbery or theft.
It cannot be doubted that, had the original policy
and original principles of the Government been
adhered to, this expectation would have been
realized. The example and influence of the
General Government would have been on the side
of freedom. Slavery would have ceased in the
District of Columbia immediately upon the esta-
blishment of the Government within its limits.
Slavery would have disappeared from Louisiana
and Florida upon the acquisition of those terri-
tories by the United States. No laws would have
been enacted, no treaties made, no measures taken
for the extension or maintenance of slavery. Amid
the rejoicings of all the free, and the congratula-
tions of all friends of freedom, the last fetter would,
ere now, have been stricken from the last slave,
and the principles and institutions of liberty would
have pervaded the entire land.
How different — how sadly different are the facts
of history ! Luther Martin complained, at
the time of the adoption of the Constitution, " that
when our own liberties were at stake, we warmly
felt for the common rights of men : the danger
being thought to be passed which threatened our-
selves, we are daily growing more and more insen-
sible to those rights." This insensibility continued
to increase, and prepared the way for the encroach-
ments of the political Slave power, wdiich originated
in the three-fifths rule of the Constitution. This
rule, designed, perhaps, as a censure upon slavery,
by denying to the Slave states the full representa-
tion to which their population would entitle them,
has had a very different practical effect. It has
virtually established in the country an aristocracy
of slaveholders. It has conferred on masters the
right of representation for three-fifths of their slaves.
The representation from the Slave states in Con-
gress has always been from one-fifth to one-fourth
greater than it would have been, were freemen
only represented.* Under the first apportionment,
according to this rate, a district in a Free state,
containing thirty thousand free inhabitants, would
have one representative. A district in a Slave
state, containing three thousand free persons and
forty-five thousand slaves, would also have one.
In the first district a representative could be elected
only by the majority of five thousand votes : in
the other, he would need only the majority of five
hundred. Of course, the representation from Slave
states, elected by a much smaller constituency, and
bound together by a common tie, would generally
act in concert, and always with special regard to
the interests of masters whose representatives in
fact they were. Every aristocracy in the world has
sustained itself by encroachment, and the aristocracy
of slaveholders in this country has not been an
exception to the general truth. The nation has
always been divided into parties, and the slave-
holders, by making the protection and advancement
of their peculiar interests the price of their political
* See note 5 in Appendix.
support, have generally succeeded in controlling
all. This influence has greatly increased the in-
sensibility to human rights, of which Martin in-
dignantly complained. It has upheld slavery in
the District of Columbia and in the Territories, in
spite of the Constitution : it has added to the Union
six Slave states created out of national Territories :*
it has usurped the control of our foreign negotia-
tion,! and domestic legislation : J it has dictated
the choice of the high offices of our Government
at home,§ and of our national representatives
abroad : || it has filled eYery department of execu-
tive and judicial administration with its friends and
satellites :^J it has detained in slavery multitudes
who are constitutionally entitled to their freedom :
it has waged unrelenting w T ar with the most sacred
rights of the free, stifling the freedom of speeches
and of debate, setting at naught the right of petition,
and denying in the Slave states those immunities
to the citizens of the free, which the Constitution
guarantees : and, finally, it has dictated the
acquisition of an immense foreign territory, not for
the laudable purpose of extending the blessings of
freedom, but with the bad design of diffusing the
* See note 6 in Appendix,
f See note 7 in Appendix.
J See note 8 in Appendix.
§ See note 9 in Appendix.
|| See note 10 in Appendix.
H See note 1 1 in Appendix.
curse of slavery, and thereby consolidating and
perpetuating its own ascendancy.
*¥HAT WE MEAN TO DO.
Against this influence, against these infractions
of the Constitution, against these departures from
the national policy originally adopted, against these
violations of the national faith originally pledged,
we solemnly protest. Nor do we propose only to
protest. We recognize the obligations which rest
upon us as descendants of the men of the revolu-
tion, as inheritors of the institutions which they
established, as partakers of the blessings which they
so dearly purchased, to carry forward and perfect
their work. We mean to do it, wisely and pru-
dently, but with energy and decision. We have
the example of our fathers on our side. We have
the Constitution of their adoption on our side. It
is our duty, and our purpose, to rescue the Govern-
ment from the control of the slaveholders ; to
harmonize its practical administration with the
provisions of the Constitution, and to secure to all.
without exception, and without partiality, the rights
which the Constitution guarantees. We believe
that slaveholding, in the United States, is the
source of numberless evils, moral, social, and
political ; that it hinders social progress ; that it
embitters public and private intercourse ; that it
degrades us as individuals, as States, and as a
nation ; that it holds back our country from a
splendid career of greatness and glory. We are,
therefore, resolutely, inflexibly, at all times, and
under all circumstances, hostile to its longer con-
tinuance in our land. We believe that its removal
can be effected peacefully, constitutionally, without
real injury to any, with the greatest benefit to all.
HOW WE MEAN TO DO IT,
We propose to effect this by repealing all legisla-
tion, and discontinuing all action, in favor of
slavery, at home and abroad ; by prohibiting the
practice of slaveholding in all places of exclusive
national jurisdiction, in the District of Columbia,
in American vessels upon the seas, in forts, arsenals,
navy yards ; by forbidding the employment of
slaves upon any public work ; by adopting resolu-
tions in Congress, declaring that slaveholding, in
all States created out of national territories, is un-
constitutional, and recommending to the others the
immediate adoption of measures for its extinction
within their respective limits; and by electing and
appointing to public station such men, and only
such men as openly avow our principles^ and will
honestly carry out our measures.
The constitutionality of this line of action cannot
be successfully impeached. That it will terminate,
if steadily pursued, in the utter overthrow of sla-
very at no very distant day none will doubt. We
adopt it, because we desire, through, and by the
Constitution, to attain the great ends which the
Constitution itself proposes, the establishment of
justice, and the security of liberty. We insist not,
here, upon the opinions of some, that no slave-
holding, in any State of the Union, is compatible
with a true and just construction of the Constitu-
tion ; nor upon the opinions of others, that the
Declaration of Independence, setting forth the
creed of the nation, that all men are created equal,
and endowed by their Creator with an inalienable
right of liberty, must be regarded as the common
law of America, antecedent to, and unimpaired by
the Constitution ; nor need we appeal to the doc-
trine that slaveholding is contrary to the supreme
law of the Supreme Ruler, preceding and con-
trolling all human law, and binding upon all
legislatures in the enactment of laws, and upon all
courts in the administration of justice* We are
willing to take our stand upon propositions gene-
rally conceded :— that slaveholding is contrary to
natural right and justice; that it can subsist
nowhere without the sanction and aid of positive
legislation; that the Constitution expressly pro-
hibits Congress from depriving any person of
liberty without due process of law. From these
propositions we deduce, by logical inference, the
doctrines upon which we insist. We deprecate all
discord among the States ; but do not dread dis-
cord so much as we do the subjugation of the
States and the people to the yoke of the slave-
holding oligarchy* We deprecate the dissolution
of the Union as a dreadful political calamity ; but
if any of the States shall prefer dissolution to sub-
mission to the Constitutional action of the people
on the subject of slavery, we cannot purchase their
alliance by the sacrifice of inestimable rights, and
the abandonment of sacred duties.
Such, fellow citizens, are our views, principles,
and objects.* We invite your co-operation in the
great work of delivering our beloved country from
the evils of slavery. No question half so important
as that of slavery engages the attention of the
American people. All others, in fact, dwindle into
insignificance in comparison with it. The question
of slavery is, and, until it shall be settled, must be,
the paramount moral and political question of the
day. We, at least, so regard it ; and, so regarding
it, must subordinate every other question to it.
It follows, as a necessary consequence, that we
cannot yield our political support to any party
which does not take our ground upon this question.
THE DIFFERENT PARTIES.
I. The Democratic Party.
What, then, is the position of the political parties
of the country in relation to this subject ? One of
these parties professes to be guided by the most
liberal principles. u Equal and exact justice to all
men;" "equal rights for all men;" " inflexible
* See note 12 in Appendix.
opposition to oppression/' are its favourite mottoes.
It claims to be the true friend of popular govern-
ment, and assumes the name of Democratic.
Among its members are, doubtless, many who
cherish its professions as sacred principles, and
believe that great cause of Freedom and Progress
is to be served by promoting its ascendancy. But
when we compare the maxims of the so-called
Democratic party with its acts, its hypocrisy is
plainly revealed. Among its leading members we
find the principal slaveholders the chiefs of the
oligarchy. It has never scrupled to sacrifice the
rights of the Free states, or of the people, to the
demands of the Slave power. Like Sir Pertinax
McSycophant, its northern leaders believe that the
great secret of advancement lies in " bowing well.' y
No servility seems too gross, no self-degradation
too great, to be submitted to.* They think them-
selves well rewarded, if the unity of the party be
preserved, and the spoils of victory secured. If,
in the distribution of these spoils, they receive only
the jackall's share, they content themselves with
the reflection that little is better than nothing.
They declaim loudly against all monopolies, all
special privileges, all encroachments on personal
rights, all distinctions founded upon birth, and
compensate themselves for these efforts of virtue,
by practising the vilest oppression upon all their
* See note 1 3 in Appendix.
countrymen, in whose complexions the slightest
trace of African derivation can be detected.
Profoundly do we revere the maxims of true
Democracy ; they are identical with those of true
Christianity, in relation to the rights and duties of
men as citizens. And our reverence for Demo-
cratic principles is the precise measure of our
detestation of the policy of those who are permitted
to shape the action of the Democratic party.
Political concert with that party, under its present
leadership, is, therefore, plainly impossible. Nor
do we entertain the hope, which many, no doubt,
honestly cherish, that the professed principles of
the party will, at length, bring it right upon the
question of slavery. Its professed principles have
been the same for nearly half a century, and yet
the subjection of the party to the Slave power is,
at this moment, as complete as ever. There is no
prospect of any change for the better, until those
democrats whose hearts are really possessed by a
generous love of liberty for all, and by an honest
hatred of oppression, shall manfully assert their
individual independence, and refuse their support
to the panders of slavery.
2. The Whig Party,
There is another party which boasts that it is
conservative in its character. Its watchwords are
" a tariff," " a banking system/' u the Union as it
is." Among its members^ also 5 are many sincere
opponents of slavery ; and the party itself, seeking
aid in the attainment of power, and anxious to
carry its favorite measures, and bound together by
no such professed principles as secure the unity of
the Democratic party, often concedes much to
their anti-slavery views. It is not unwilling, in
those States and parts of States where anti-slavery
sentiment prevails, to assume an anti-slavery atti-
tude, and claim to be an anti-slavery party. Like
the Democratic party, however, the Whig party
maintains alliances with the slaveholders. It pro-
poses, in its national conventions, no action against
slavery. It has no anti-slavery article in its
national creed. Among its leaders and champions
in Congress, and out of Congress, none are so
honored and trusted as slaveholders in practice and
in principle. Whatever the Whig party, therefore,
concedes to anti-slavery, must be reluctantly con-
ceded. Its natural position is conservative. Its
natural line of action is to maintain things as they
are. Its natural bond of union is regard for
interests rather than for rights. There are,
doubtless, zealous opponents of slavery, who are
also zealous Whigs ; but they have not the general
confidence of their party; they are under the ban
of the slaveholders ; and in any practical anti-
slavery movement, as, for example, the repeal of
the laws which sanction slaveholding in the Dis-
trict of Columbia, would meet the determined
opposition of a large and most influential section
of the party, not because the people of the Free
states would be opposed to the measure, but
because it would be displeasing to the oligarchy
and fatal to party unity. We are constrained to
think, therefore, that all expectation of efficient
anti-slavery action from the Whig party, as now
organized, will prove delusive. Nor do we per-
ceive any probability of a change in its organiza-
tion, separating its anti-slavery from its pro-slavery
constituents, and leaving the former in possession
of the name and influence of the party. With the
Whig party, therefore, as at present organized, it
is as impossible for us, whose mottoes are " Equal
Rights and Fair Wages for all," and "the Union
as it should be," to act in alliance and concert, as
it is for us so to act with the so-called Democratic
party. We cannot choose between these parties
for the sake of any local or partial advantage,
without sacrificing consistency, self-respect, and
mutual confidence. While we say this, we are
bound to add, that were either of these parties to
disappoint our expectations, and to adopt into its
national creed as its leading articles, the principles
which we regard as fundamental, and enter upon
a course of unfeigned and earnest action against
the system of slavery, we should not hesitate,
regarding, as we do, the question of slavery as
the paramount question of our day and nation, to
give to it our cordial and vigorous support, until
slavery should be no more.
With what party, then, shall we act ? Or shall
we act with none? Act, in some way, we must:
for the possession of the right of suffrage, the right
of electing our own law-makers and rulers, imposes
upon us the corresponding duty of voting for men
who will carry out the views which we deem of
paramount importance and obligation. Act together
we must ; for upon the questions which we regard
as the most vital we are fully agreed. We must
act then ; act together ; and act against slavery and
oppression. Acting thus, we necessarily act as a
party ; for what is a party, but a body of citizens,
acting together politically, in good faith, upon
common principles, for a common object ? And if
there be a party already in existence, animated by
the same motives, and aiming at the same results
as ourselves, we must act with and in that party.
THE LIBERTY PARTY.
That there is such a party is well known. It is
the Liberty party of the United States. Its prin-
ciples, measures, and objects we cordially approve.
It founds itself upon the great cardinal principle of
true Democracy and of true Christianity, the
brotherhood of the Human Family. It avows its
purpose to wage implacable war against slaveholding
as the direst form of oppression, and then against
every other species of tyranny and injustice. Its
views on the subject of slavery in this country are,
in the main, the same as those which we have set
forth in this address. Its members agree to regard
the extinction of slavery as the most important end
which can, at this time, be proposed to political
action ; and they agree to differ as to other ques-
tions of minor importance, such as those of trade
and currency, believing that these can be satisfac-
torily disposed of, when the question of slavery
shall be settled, and that, until then, they cannot
be satisfactorily disposed of at all.
The rise of such a party as this was anticipated
long before its actual organization, by the single-
hearted and patriotic Charles Follen, a German by
birth, but a true American by adoption and in
spirit. a If there ever is to be in this country," he
said in 1836, "a party that shall take its name and
character, not from particular liberal measures or
popular men, bat from its uncompromising and
consistent adherence to freedom — a truly liberal
and thoroughly republican party, it must direct its
first decided effort against the grossest form, the
most complete manifestation of oppression ; and,
having taken anti-slavery ground, it must carry out
the principle of Liberty in all its consequences. It
must support every measure conducive to the
greatest possible individual and social, moral, intel-
lectual, religious, and political freedom, whether
that measure be brought forward by inconsistent
slaveholders or consistent freemen. It must em-
brace the whole sphere of human action ; watching
and opposing the slightest illiberal and anti-repub-
lican tendency, and concentrating its whole force
and influence against slavery itself, in comparison
with which every other species of tyranny is tole-
rable, and by which every other is strengthened
and justified. 79
Thus wrote Charles Follen in 1836. It is im-
possible to express better the want which enlight-
ened lovers of liberty felt of a real Democratic
party in the country — Democratic not in name
only, but in deed and in truth. In this want, thus
felt, the Liberty party had its origin,* and so long
as this want remains otherwise unsatisfied, the
Liberty party must exist ; not as a mere Abolition
party, but as a truly Democratic party, which aims
at the extinction of slavery, because slaveholding is
inconsistent with Democratic principles ; aims at
it, not as an ultimate end, but as the most impor-
tant present object ; as a great and necessary step
in the work of reform ; as an illustrious era in the
advancement of society, to be wrought out by its
action and instrumentality. The Liberty party of
1845 is, in truth, the Liberty party of 1776 re-
vived. It is more : It is the party of Advancement
and Freedom, which has, in every age, and with
varying success, fought the battles of Human
Liberty, against the party of False Conservatism
* See Xote 14 in Appendix,
WILL YOU NOT JOIN IT ?
And now, fellow citizens, permit us to ask, whether
you will not give to this party the aid of your
votes, and of your counsels ? Its aims are lofty,
and noble, and pacific ; its means are simple and
unobjectionable. Why should it not have your
ANTI-SLAVERY MEN !
Are you already anti-slavery men ? Let us ask,
is it not far better to act with those with whom you
agree on the fundamental point of slavery, and
swell the vote and augment the moral force of anti-
slavery, rather than to act with those with whom
you agree only on minor points ; and thus, for the
time, swell a vote and augment an influence which
must be counted against the Liberty movement, in
the vain hope that those with whom you thus act
now, will, at some indefinite future period, act with
you for the overthrow of slavery ? There are, per-
haps, nearly equal numbers of you in each of the
pro-slavery parties, honestly opposed to each other
on questions of trade, currency, and extension of
territory, but of one mind on the great question of
slavery ; and yet you suffer yourselves to be played
off against each other by parties which agree in
nothing except hostility to the great measure of
positive action against slavery, which seems to you,
and is, of paramount importance. What can' you
gain by this course ? What may you not gain by
laying your minor difference on the altar of duty,
and uniting as one man, in one party, against
slavery ? Then every vote would tell for freedom,
and would encourage the friends of liberty to fresh
efforts. Now every vote, whether you intend it so
or not, tells for slavery, and operates as a discou-
ragement and hindrance to those who are con-
tending for equal rights. Let us entreat you not
to persevere in your suicidal, fratricidal course ; but
to renounce at once all pro-slavery alliances, and
join the friends of liberty. It is not the question
now whether a Liberty party shall be organized ; it
is organized and in the field. The real question,
and the only real question, is : Will you, so far as
your votes and influence go, hasten or retard the
day of its triumph ?
ALL MEN OF THE FKEE STATES !
Are you men of the Free states ? And have you
not suffered enough of wrong, of insult, and of
contumely, from the slaveholding oligarchy ? *
Have you not been taxed enough for the support
of slavery ? f Is it not enough that all the powers
of the government are exerted for its maintenance,];
and that all the Departments of the Government
are in the hands of the Slave power ? How long
* See Note 15 in Appendix.
f See Note 16 in Appendix.
J See Note 17 in Appendix.
will you consent by your votes to maintain slavery
at the seat of the National Government, in viola-
tion of the Constitution of your country, and thus
give your direct sanction to the whole dreadful
system ? How long will you consent to be repre-
sented in the National Councils by men who will
not dare to assert their own rights or yours in the
presence of an arrogant aristocracy ; and, in your
State Legislatures, by men whose utmost height of
courage and manly daring? when your citizens are
imprisoned, without allegation of crime, in Slave
states, and your agents, sent for their relief, are
driven out, as you would scourge from your pre-
mises an intrusive cur, is to protest and submit?
Rouse up, men of the Free states, for shame, if
not for duty ! Awake to a sense of your degraded
position. Behold your President, a slaveholder;
his cabinet composed of slaveholders or their abject
instruments ; the two Houses of Congress submis-
sive and servile ; your representatives with foreign
nations, most of them slaveholders ; your supreme
administrators of justice, most of them slaveholders;
your officers of the army and navy, most of them
slaveholders.* Observe the results. What nume-
rous appointments of pro-slavery citizens of Slave
states to national employments ! What careful
exclusion of every man who holds the faith of
Jefferson and Washington in respect to slavery,
* See Note 18 in Appendix.
ADD BESS. 113
and believes with Madison " that it is wrong to
admit in the Constitution the idea of property in
man/' from national offices of honor and trust ! *
What assiduity in negotiations for the reclamation
of slaves, cast, in the Providence of God, on foreign
shores,f and for the extension of the markets of
cotton, and rice, and tobacco, ay, and of men !
What zeal on the judicial bench in wresting the
Constitution and the law to the purposes of slave-
holders, by shielding kidnappers from merited
punishment, and paralyzing State legislation for
the security of personal liberty ! What readiness
in legislation to serve the interests of the oligarchy
by unconstitutional provisions for the recovery of
fugitive slaves, and by laying heavy duties on
slave-labor products, thereby compelling non-
slaveholding laborers to support slaveholders in
idleness and luxury ! When shall these things
have an end ? How long shall servile endurance
be protracted ? It is for you, fellow citizens, to
determine. The shameful partiality to slaveholders
and slavery which has so long prevailed, and now
prevails, in the administration of the government,
will cease when you determine that it shall cease,
and act accordingly,,
* See Note 19 in Appendix.
f See Note 20 in Appendix.
ALL NON-SLAVEHOLDERS OF THE SLAVE
Are you non- slaveholders of the Slave states?
Let us ask you to consider what interest you have
in the system of slavery. What benefits does it
confer on you? What blessings does it promise to
your children ? You constitute the vast majority
of the population of the Slave states. The aggre-
gate votes of all the slaveholders do not exceed one
hundred and fifty thousand, while the votes of the
non-slaveholders are at least six hundred thousand,
supposing each adult male to possess a vote. It is
clear, therefore, that the continuance of slavery
depends upon your suffrages. We repeat, what
interest have you in supporting the system ?
THE FRUITS OF SLAVERY.
Slavery diminishes your population and hinders
your prosperity. Compare New York with Vir-
ginia, Ohio with Kentucky, Arkansas with
Michigan, Florida with Iowa. Need we say
more ? *
It prevents general education. It is not the in-
terest of slaveholders that poor non-slaveholders
should be educated. The census of 1840 reveals
the astounding facts that more than one-seventeenth
See Note 21 in Appendix.
of the white population in the Slave states are
unable to read or write, while not a hundred and
fiftieth part of the same class in the Free are in the
same condition, and that there are more than twelve
times as many scholars at public charge in the Free
states as in the Slave states.*
It paralyzes your industry and enterprise„ The
census of 1840 also disclosed the fact that the Free
states, with two millions and a quarter inhabitants
more 5 and ninety -eight millions acres less than the
Slave states, produce annually, in value, from
mines, thirty-three millions dollars more ; from the
forests, eight millions dollars more ; from fisheries,
nine millions dollars more ; from agriculture, forty
millions dollars more ; from manufactures^ one
hundred and fifty-one millions dollars more. At
the same time, the capital invested in commerce by
the Free states exceeds the capital similarly in-
vested in the Slave states by more than one hun-
dred millions of dollars ; and the tonnage of the
former exceeds the tonnage of the latter by more
than a thousand millions tons ! This enormous
disparity, which will strike attention the more
forcibly when it is considered that much of the
capital employed in the Slave states is owned in
the Free, can be ascribed to no cause except
* See Note 22 in Appendix.
f See Note 23 in Appendix.
It degrades and dishonors labor. In what
country did an aristocracy ever care for the poor ?
When did slaveholders ever attempt to improve the
condition of the free laborer ? " White negroes''
is the contemptuous term by which Robert Wick-
liffe, of Kentucky, designated the free laborers of
his State. He saw no distinction between them
and slaves, except that the former may be converted
into voters. Chancellor Harper, of South Caro-
lina, teaches that, u so far as the mere laborer has
the pride, the knowledge or the aspiration of a
freeman, he is unfitted for his situation." And he
likens the laborer " to the horse or the ox," to
whom it would be ridiculous to attempt to impart
" a cultivated understanding or fine feeling."
Governor McDuflle, in a message to the legislature
of South Carolina, went so far as to say that " the
institution of domestic slavery supersedes the neces-
sity of an order of nobility, and the other appen-
dages of an hereditary system of government." Of
course the slaveholders are the noble, and you, the
non-slaveholders, are the ignoble, of this social
Slavery corrupts the religion and destroys the
morals of a community. We need not repeat Jef-
ferson's strong testimony. In a message to the
legislature of Kentucky, some years since, the
Governor said, " We long to see the day when the
law will assert its majesty, and stop the wanton
destruction of life which almost daily occurs within
the jurisdiction of this Commonwealth." And the
Governor of Alabama, in a message to the legisla-
ture of that State, said, " Why do we hear of stab-
bings and shootings, almost daily, in some part or
other of our State ? " A Judge in New Orleans,
in an address on the opening of his court, observed,
" Without some powerful and certain remedy our
streets will become butcheries, overflowing with the
blood of our citizens." These terrible pictures are
drawn by home pencils. Can communities prosper
when religion and morality furnish no stronger
restraints on violence and passion ?*
Slavery is a source of most deplorable weakness.
What a panic is spread by the bare suggestion of a
servile insurrection ! And how completely are the
slaveholding States at the mercy of any invading
foe who will raise the standard of emancipation !
In the revolutionary war, according to the secret
journals of Congress, South Carolina was u unable
to make any effectual efforts with militia, by reason
of the great proportion of citizens necessary to
remain at home to prevent insurrection among the
negroes, and to prevent the desertion of them to the
enemy." We need not say that if the danger of
insurrection was then great, it would be, circum-
stances being similar, tenfold greater now.f
* See Note 24 in Appendix.
f See Note 25 in Appendix,
Slavery seeks to deprive non-slaveholders of
political power. In Virginia and South Carolina
especially, has this policy been most steadily and
successfully pursued. In South Carolina the
political power of the State is lodged in the great
slaveholding districts by the Constitution, and to
make assurance doubly sure, it is provided, in that
instrument, that no person can be a member of the
legislature unless he owns five hundred acres of
land and ten slaves, or an equivalent in additional
land. The right of voting for electors of President
and Vice-President is, in South Carolina, confined
to members of the legislature ; consequently, in
that State no non-slaveholder can have a voice in
the selection of the first and second officers of the
Republic. In Virginia the slave population is
considered the basis of political power, and the
preponderance of representation is given to those
districts in which there is the largest slave popula-
tion. The House of Representatives consists of
one hundred and thirty-four members, of whom
fifty-six are chosen by the counties west of the
Blue Ridge, and seventy-eight by the counties
east. The Senate consists of thirty-two members,
of whom thirteen are assigned to the western, and
nineteen to the eastern counties. Already the free
white population west of the Blue Ridge exceeds
the same class east in number, but no change in the
population can affect this distribution of political
power, designed to secure and preserve the ascen-
dancy of the slaveholders, who chiefly reside east
of the Ridge, so long as the Constitution remains
These, non-slaveholders of the Slave states, are
the fruits of slavery. You surely can have no
reason to love a system which entails such conse-
quences. Yet it lives by your sufferance. You
have only to speak the word at the ballot-box, and
the system falls.* Will you be restrained from
speaking that word by the consideration that the
enslaved will be benefited as well as yourselves ?
or by the selfish expectation that you may your-
selves become slaveholders hereafter, and so be
admitted into the ranks of the aristocracy? If
such considerations withhold you, w r e bid you
beware lest you prepare a bitter retribution for
yourselves, and find, to your mortification and
shame, that a patent of nobility, written in the
tears and - blood of the oppressed, is a sorry pass-
port to the approbation of mankind.
We would appeal, also, to slaveholders themselves.
We would enter at once within the lines of selfish
ideas and mercenary motives, and appeal to your
consciences and your hearts. You know that the
* See Note 26 in Appendix.
system of slaveholding is wrong. Whatever theo-
logians may teach and cite Scripture for, you know
— all of you who claim freedom for yourselves and
your children as a birthright precious beyond all
price, and inalienable as life — that no person can
rightfully hold another as a slave. Your courts,
in their judicial decisions, and your books of
common law in their elementary lessons, rise far
above the precepts of most of your religious
teachers, and declare all slaveholding to be against
natural right. You feel it to be so. God has so
made the human heart, that, in spite of all theo-
logical sophistry and pretended Scripture proofs,
you cannot help feeling it to be so. There is a
law of sublimer origin and more awful sanction
than any human code, written, in ineffaceable cha-
racters, upon every heart of man, which binds all
to do unto others as they would that others should
do unto them. And where is there one of all your
number who would exchange conditions with the
happiest of all your slaves ? Produce the man !
And until he is produced, let theological apologists
for slaveholding keep silence. Most earnestly
would we entreat you to listen to the voice of
conscience and obey the promptings of humanity.
We are not your enemies., We do not pretend to
any superior virtue ; or that we, being in your
circumstances, would be likely to act differently
from you. But we are all fellow citizens of the
same great Republic. We feel slaveholding to be a
dreadful incubus upon us, dishonoring us in the
eyes of foreign nations ; nullifying the force of our
example of free institutions ; holding us back from
a glorious career of prosperity and renown ;
sowing broadcast the seeds of discord, division ,
disunion : and we are anxious for its extinction.
With Jefferson, we tremble for our country, when
we " remember that God is just, and that his
justice cannot sleep for ever." With Washington,
we believe " that there is but one proper and
effectual mode by which the extinction of slavery
can be accomplished^ and that is, by legislative
authority ; and this, so far as our suffrages will go,
shall not be wanting."
We would not invade the Constitution ; but we
would have the Constitution rightly construed and
administered according to its true sense and spirit.
We would not dictate the mode in which slavery
shall be attacked in particular States ; but we
would have it removed at once from all places
under the exclusive jurisdiction of the National
Government, and also, have immediate measures
taken, in accordance with constitutional rights and
the principles of justice, for its removal from each
State by State authority, In this work we ask
your co-operation. Shall we ask in vain? Are
you not convinced that the almost absolute mono-
poly of the offices and the patronage of the govern-
ment, and the almost exclusive control of its
legislation and executive and judicial administra-
tion, by slaveholders, and for the purposes of
slavery, is unjust to the non-slaveholders of the
country ? * Can you blame us for saying that we
will no longer sanction it ? Are you not satisfied,
to use the language of one of your own number,
u that slavery is a cancer, a slow consuming cancer,
a withering pestilence, an unmitigated curse ? "
And can you wonder that we should be anxious,
by all just, and honorable, and constitutional
means, to effect its extinction in our respective
States, and to confine it to its constitutional
limits? Are you not fully aware that the gross
inconsistency of slaveholding with our professed
principles astonishes the world, and makes the
name of our country a mock, and the name of
liberty a by- word ? And can you regret that we
should exert ourselves to the utmost to redeem
our glorious land and her institutions from just
reproach, and, by illustrious acts of mercy and
justice, place ourselves, once more, in the van of
Human Progress and Advancement ?
to all friends of liberty, and of our
country's best interests.
Finally, we ask all true friends of liberty, of
impartial, universal liberty, to be firm and stead-
fast. The little handful of voters, who, in 1840,
wearied of compromising expediency, and despair-
* See Note 27 in Appendix.
ing of anti-slavery action by pro-slavery parties.,
raised anew the standard of the Declaration, and
manfully resolved to vote right then and vote for
freedom, has already swelled to a Great Party,
strong enough, numerically, to decide the issue of
any national contest, and stronger far in the power
of its pure and elevating principles. And if these
principles be sound, which we doubt not, and if
the question of slavery be, as we verily believe it
is, the great question of our day and nation, it
is a libel upon the intelligence, the patriotism, and
the virtue of the American people to say that
there is no hope that a majority will not array
themselves under our banner. Let it not be said
that we are factious or impracticable. We adhere
to our views because we believe them to be sound,
practicable, and vitally important. We have
already said that we are ready to prove our devo-
tion to our principles by co-operation with either
of the other two great American Parties, which
will openly and honestly, in State and National
Conventions, avow our doctrines and adopt our
measures, until slavery shall be overthrown. We
do not, indeed, expect any such adoption and
avowal by either of those parties, because we are
well aware that they fear more, at present, from
the loss of slaveholding support than from the
loss of anti-slavery co-operation. But we can be
satisfied with nothing less, for we will compromise
no longer; and, therefore, must of necessity
maintain our separate organization as the true
Democratic Party of the country, and trust our
cause to the patronage of the people and the bless-
ing of God !
Carry then, friends of freedom and free labor,
your principles to the ballot-box. Let no difficul-
ties discourage, no dangers daunt ? no delays
dishearten you. Your solemn vow that slavery
must perish is registered in heaven. Renew that
vow ! Think of the martyrs of truth and freedom ;
think of the millions of the enslaved ; think of the
other millions of the oppressed and degraded free ;
and renew that vow ! Be not tempted from the
path of political duty. Vote for no man, act with
no party politically coonected with the supporters
of slavery. Vote for no man, act with no party
unwilling to adopt and carry out the principles
which we have set forth in this address. To
compromise for any partial or temporary advan-
tage is ruin to our cause. To act with any party,
or to vote for the candidates of any party, which
recognizes the friends and supporters' of slavery as
members in full standing, because in particular
places or under particular circumstances, it may
make large professions of anti-slavery zeal^ is to
commit political suicide. Unswerving fidelity to
our principles ; unalterable determination to carry
those principles to the ballot-box at every election ;
inflexible and unanimous support of those, and
only those, who are true to those principles, are
the conditions of our ultimate triumph. Let these
conditions be fulfilled, and our triumph is certain.
The indications of its coming multiply on every
hand. The clarion trump of freedom breaks
already the gloomy silence of slavery in Kentucky,
and its echoes are heard throughout the land. A
spirit of inquiry and of action is awakened every-
where. The assemblage of the convention, whose
voice we utter, is itself an auspicious omen.
Gathered from the North and the South, and the
East and West, we here unite our counsels, and
consolidate our action. We are resolved to go
forward, knowing that our cause is just, trusting
in God. We ask you to go forward with us,
invoking His blessing who sent His Son to redeem
mankind. With Him are the issues of all events,
He can and He will disappoint all the devices of
oppression. He can, and we trust He will, make
our instrumentality efficient for the redemption
of our land from slavery, and for the fulfilment of
our fathers' pledge in behalf of freedom, before
Him and before the world.*
* See Note 28 in Appendix*
CONSISTING OF NOTES TO THE
HESE are precisely the same notes that
were appended to the Cincinnati Address
in 1 845. But could similar notes, sta-
tistical and historical, be brought down
to i860, including accounts of the passage of the
"Compromise Measures;'* of the infamous "Fugitive
Slave Law ;" of the " lynchings " and murders of
northern citizens in the Slave states ; of the burnings
of negroes ; of the massacres of the peaceful settlers
in Kansas, &c., &c, they would present a picture of
horrible barbarities ^hardly paralleled on the page of
Note No. I.
The Southern and Western Liberty Convention, held
at Cincinnati, on the nth and 12th June, 1845, was
the most remarkable An ti- Slavery body yet assembled
in the United States. The call embraced all those who
were resolved to act against Slavery, by speech, by the
pen, by the press, and by the ballot. It was not there-
fore exclusively a Convention of the Liberty party ; and
accordingly not a few were in attendance who had not
acted with that party. The whole number present, as
Delegates, was about two thousand — from the States of
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan ; from the Terri-
tories of Wisconsin and Iowa ; from Western Pennsyl-
vania, and Western Virginia, and from Kentucky.
Deputations were also present from Massachusetts,
New York and Rhode Island ; and the whole assembly,
including spectators, varied during the sittings from
two thousand five hundred, to four thousand persons.
Letters were received from Samuel Fessenden and
Samuel H. Pond, Me., Titus Hutchinson, Vt., Elihu
Burritt and H. B. Stanton, and Phineas Crandell, Mass. ;
Wm. Jay, Wm. H. Seward, Gerrit Smith, Horace
Greeley, Wm. Goodell, Lewis Tappan, New York; C. D.
Cleveland, F. Julius Lemoyne, Thomas Earle, Pennsyl-
vania; F.I). Parish, Ohio; Cassius M. Clay, Lexington,
Ky., and John Gilmore, Virginia. The Chairman of
the Committee which reported this able address, and
by whom it was written, was S. P. Chase, Esq., of
Note No. II.
" A slave is one who is in the power of his master,
to whom he belongs. The master may sell him, dis-
pose of his person, his industry, and his labor : he
can do nothing, possess nothing, nor acquire anything
but what must belong to his master." — Law of
" Slaves shall always be reputed and considered real
estate ; shall be, as such, subject to be mortgaged^
according to the rules prescribed by law, and they
shall be seized and sold as real estate." — Law of
" Penalty for any slave, or free colored person,
exercising the functions of a minister of the gospel,
thirty-nine lashes." "Penalty for teaching a slave
to read, imprisonment one year." " Every negro, or
mulatto, found in the State, not able to show himself
entitled to freedom, may be sold as a slave." — Laws of
" For attempting to teach any free colored person,
or slave, to spell, read or write, a fine of not less than
two hundred and fifty, nor more than five hundred
dollars."— Law of Alabama.
" Any person who sees more than seven slaves with-
out any white person, in a high road, may whip each
slave twenty lashes." " Every colored person is pre-
sumed to be a slave, unless he can prove himself free."
'—Laws of Georgia.
" Slaves shall be deemed sold, taken, reputed, and
adjudged, in law, to be chattels personal in the hands
of their owners and possessors, and their executors,
administrators, and assigns, to all intents, construc-
tions, anb purposes whatever." " Whereas, many
owners of slaves, and others, that have the manage-
ment of them, do confine them so closely to hard
labor, that they have not sufficient time for natural
rest, be it enacted that no slave shall be compelled to
labor more than fifteen hours in the twenty -four,
from March 25 to September 25, or fourteen for the
rest of the year." " Penalty for killing a slave in a
sudden heat of passion, or by undue correction, a fine
of five hundred dollars, and imprisonment not over six
months !" — Laws of South Carolina.
" In the trial of slaves, the Sheriff chooses the Court,
which must consist of three Justices and twelve slave-
holders, to serve as jurors." — -Law of Tennessee.
"Any emancipated slave remaining in the State
more than a year, may be sold by the overseers of the
poor, for the benefit of the literary fund." "Any slave,
or free colored person, found at any school for teach-
ing reading or writing, by day or night, may be
whipped, at the discretion of a Justice, not exceeding
twenty lashes." " Any white person assembling with
slaves, for the purpose of teaching them to read or
write, shall be fined not less than ten, nor more than
a hundred dollars." — Laws of Virginia. By the revised
code of this State, seventy-one offences are punished
with death, when committed by slaves, and by nothing
more than imprisonment when by whites.
"Any slave convicted of petty treason, murder or
wilful burning of dwelling-houses, may be sentenced to
have the right hand cut off, to be hanged in the usual
manner, the head severed from the body, the body
divided into four quarters, and the head and quarters
set up in the most public place in the county, where
such fact was committed."— Law of Maryland.
We might extend such extracts from such laws, (if
laws they can be called,) to the size of an octavo : — •
laws that would disgrace the most savage people upon
the face of the earth. In reference to them, the editor
of the New York Tribune, of November 25, 1845, thus
speaks : " Laws which allow one man to sell another
man a thousand miles away from his wife, and their
children five hundred miles apart in other directions,
without right or hope of reunion — which allow men to
beat, ravish, or even murder women of the degraded
caste with impunity, in the presence of a dozen wit-
nesses of their own color, if there are none of the
ruling caste to testify against them — laws, which give
to a white drunkard and gambler all the earnings of
an ingenious and industrious black family for life, with
privilege to flog them into the bargain — these laws are
hateful to God, and pernicious to mankind. We can
comprehend them as well in New York as in Kentucky ^
and they cannot be less than infernal anywhere."
Note No. III.
In a letter to Robert Morris, Washington also said,
" There is only one proper and effectual mode by which
the abolition of slavery can be accomplished, and that is
by legislative authority ; and this, as far as my suffrage
will go, shall never be wanting."
In a speech in the House of Delegates of Maryland,
Wm. Pinckney said, "By the eternal principles of
natural justice, no master in this State has a right to
hold his slave for a single hour."
Dr. Rush, of Pennsylvania, declared slavery to be
" repugnant to the principles of Christianity, and rebel-
lion against the authority of a common Father."
Note No. IY.
In the same Convention, in reference to the provi-
sions of the Constitution that Congress should have
power to stop the domestic slave trade, called in that
instrument " the migration of persons," Judge Dawes
remarked, that " slavery had received its death wound,
and would die of consumption,"
Note No. V.
The whole number of representatives in the House
is 223. Of these the Free states have 135, the Slave,
88 ; and of these 88, but 68 are the representatives of
freemen, the remaining 20 being representatives of slave
The manner in which the present ratio of representa-
tion was fixed, is one which should cover with lasting
disgrace the Northern representatives who voted for it.
The number fixed by the House, was one representative
for every 50,189 inhabitants. This would have given
them 306 members ; but the Senate, fearing the influence
of so large a body of freemen as this would give, sent
back the bill, with the ratio of 70,680, which would
reduce the House to 223, and give the Free states a
majority of 47, instead of 68. But why the odd num-
ber, 680? It deprives four great States of the North,
namely, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio,
of one member each.
Even the correspondent of the New York Herald
could thus write at the time : "The Senate apportion-
ment has robbed the North of at least one quarter of its
practical influence in the Union, when regarded in its
full extent ; and the members of the Free states who
voted for it, have thus surrendered the rights of their
constituents, and violated their trusts."
It is curious, also, to look at the fractions unrepre-
sented. The Slave states have but 140,092; the Free,
218,678. The fraction of Virginia is but 2! that of
In the Presidential contest of 1841, the Slave states
had 1 1 4 electors ; the Free, 1 6 1 ; while the whole popular
vote of the Slave states was but 693,434; the Free,
1,71 0,04 1 . That is, while the Free states had but about
two-fifths more in the number of electors, they had
nearly three times as many popular votes. Pennsylvania
had 26 electors, and a popular vote of 287,697; while
Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia together, had 28
electors, and but 159,525 popular vote: that is, with
but little more than half the popular vote they had two
Note No. VI.
Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, Arkansas,
Note No. VII.
It is well known that by far the greater Dumber
of our foreign ministers have been from the Slave states,
and that they have ever been most vigilant to promote
the interests of those States, while the far more impor-
tant interests of the Free states have been, compara-
tively, neglected. In 1841, out of seven persons nomi-
nated, in succession, for diplomatic stations, six were
from the Slave states, which were all immediately con-
firmed, while the nomination of the seventh, Edward
Everett of Massachusetts, was laid on the table, till the
slaveholders could satisfy themselves that he had no
views adverse to their " peculiar institutions."
What untold benefit would it have been to our Free
states, if foreign nations had been induced, as they
doubtless might have been, to favor our agricultural
and manufacturing products, as they have been induced,
by slaveholding ministers, to favour cotton, tobacco,
AND RICE !
Note No. VIII.
No one man has so much influence over our " domestic
legislation," as the Speaker of the House of Representa-
tives. He it is that appoints all the committees, which
committees bring before the House such subjects, and
present them in such aspects, as best suit their views.
Since the organization of our government, in 1789, out
of the $6 years the Slave states have had the Speaker
3 8 years, the Free, 1 8 years. With the exception of
John "V^. Taylor, of New York, who served three years,
the Free states did not give a Speaker to the House from
1809 to 1845.
Note No. IX.
Of the ten Presidents, since 1789, the Slave states
have had six, who will have served at the end of the
present term, 44 years ; the Free states four, who have
served 16 years. In this, Gen. Harrison's whole term
of four years is reckoned. What is also worthy of
remark, is, that no Northern President has served more
than one term.
Next in importance to the President is the office of
Secretary of State, as he manages all the business and
correspondence with foreign courts, instructs our foreign
ministers, and negotiates all treaties. Of the 1 5 who
have filled this office, up to 1845, the Slave states have
had 10, who have served 37 years; the Free states 5,
who have served 1 9 years.
Note No. X.
In nothing is the gross injustice practised towards
the Free states, more conspicuous than in the persons
employed in those civil executive offices, at the city of
Washington, and in those Diplomatic and Consular sta-
tions abroad, where the compensation is by salary. In
the following list we give the persons employed in a few
of the States, with their salaries, and the number of free
white inhabitants of the respective States.
Persons. Salaries. Pree population.
3°> 6 57
59°> 2 53 1
| New York
f District of Co.
The Judiciary is the balance-wheel of our go-
vernment. It takes cognizance of questions of the
highest earthly moment — questions of constitutional
law — questions of chartered rights and privileges —
questions involving millions of property — and, above all,
questions that decide the liberty and slavery of man. If
there be any spot, therefore, that should be free from
sectional bias, it is the Supreme Court of the United
States, the judges of which should be appointed, not
only for their high legal attainments and integrity^
but with reference to the number of inhabitants, and,
consequently, to the legal interests of the different parts
of the country. But how entirely opposite has been the
practice. Of the 30 Judges of that Court, the Slave
states have had 1 7 ; the Free states, 1 3 ; and that, too,
while the free inhabitants of the Slave states are but
about four and a half millions ; the inhabitants of the
Free states nine and a half millions — more than double.
Then look at the most unjust manner in which the
circuits are divided. Vermont, Connecticut, and New
York, with 42 representatives in Congress, and a free
population of over three millions, constitute one circuit ;
while Alabama and Louisiana, with but 1 1 representa-
tives, and a free population of but half a million, consti-
tute another circuit. New Jersey and Pennsylvania,
with a population of two millions, constitute the third
circuit. Mississippi and Arkansas, with a free popula-
tion of but half a million, constitute the ninth circuit.
We say free population, because the poor slave has
nothing to do with courts of law, having no legal rights
Lastly, observe the same inequality and injustice,
carried out in the salaries of the Judges. Louisiana,
with a free population of 183,959, has one Judge at a
salary of 3000 dollars; Ohio, with a population of
1,519,464, more than eight times as great as that of
Louisiana, has only one Judge, at a salary of 1 000 : that
is, while he has more than eight times as many people to
do business for, he receives but one-third as much pay.
Arkansas, with a free population of 77*639, has one
Judge at a salary of 2000 dollars ; New Hampshire,
with a population of 284,573, has but one Judge, at a
salary of iooo dollars. Mississippi, with a free popula-
tion of 180,440, has one Judge, who receives 2500
dollars; Indiana, with a population of 685,863, has but
one Judge, who receives only 1 000 dollars ; receiving
but two -fifths as much pay for doing more than three
times the work.
Note No. XII.
The following is a portion of the Address of the
Pennsylvania Convention, held in Philadelphia, Feb'
22, 1844 :—
" The great object of the Liberty party is, in the
words of the Constitution, ' to establish justice ; to
SECURE THE BLESSINGS OF LlBERTY.' It IS, ABSOLUTE
AND UNQUALIFIED DIVORCE OF THE GENERAL GOVERN-
MENT FROM ALL CONNECTION WITH SLAVERY. We WOuld
say, in the fervent language of that noble son of free-
dom, Cassius M. Clay, of Kentucky, ' Let the whole
North, in a mass, in conjunction with the patriotic of
the South, withdraw the moral sanction and legal power
of the Union from the sustainment of slavery.' We
would employ every constitutional means to era-
dicate it from our entire country, because it would be
for the highest welfare of our entire country. We
would have liberty established in the District, and in all
the Territories. We would put a stop to the. in-
ternal slave trade, pronounced, even by Thomas Jeffer-
son Randolph, of Virginia, to be 4 worse and more
odious than the foreign slave trade itself.' We would,
in the words of the Constitution, have 4 the citizens
of each State have all the privileges and immuni-
ties of citizens in the several States ;' and not, for
the color of their skin, be subjected to every indig-
nity and abuse, and wrong, and even imprisonment.*
We would have equal taxation. We would have the
seas free. We would have a free and secure post-office.
We would have liberty of speech and of the press,
which the Constitution guarantees to us. We would
have our members in Congress utter their thoughts
freely, without threats from the pistol or the bowie-
knife. We would have the right of petition most sacredly
regarded. We would secure to every man what the
Constitution secures, ' the right of trial by jury.' We
would do what we can for the encouragement and im-
provement of the colored race. We would look to the
best interests of the country, and the whole country, and
not legislate for the good of an Oligarchy, the most ar-
rogant that ever lorded it over an insulted people. We
would have our commercial treaties with foreign na-
tions regard the interests of the Free states. We would
provide safe, adequate, and permanent markets for the
produce of free labor. And, when reproached with
slavery, we would be able to say to the world, with an
open front and a clear conscience, our General Govern-
ment has nothing to do with it, either to promote, to
sustain, to defend, to sanction, or to approve."
NOTE NO. XIII.
The following is a brief history of the several reso-
lutions which have passed the House of Represents-
* Read the memorial of citizens of Boston, to the House of
Representatives, on the imprisonment of free citizens of Mas-
sachusetts by the authorities of Savannah, Charleston, and
tives since 1836, against the consideration of any peti-
tions respecting slavery. They are familiarly called
" Gag Resolutions," and go by the name of the persons
who introduced them.
Pinckney's Gag was passed May 26, 1836, by a ma-
jority of 46. Of the 117 yeas, 82 were from the Free
Hawes's Gag, January 18, 1 837, by a majority of $8,
Of the yeas, 70 were from the Free states.
Patton's Gag, December 31, 1838, by a majority of
48. Of the yeas, 52 were from the Free states.
Atherton's Gag, January 12, 1839, by a majority of
48. Of the yeas, 49 were from the Free states, and all
or the Democratic Party.
Johnson's Gag, Jan. 28, 1 840, by a majority of 6. Of
the yeas, 28 were from the Free states, and all but one
or the Democratic Party. But none of these "gags"
would have been carried had it not been for Southern
Whigs. Of the yeas for Johnson's Gag, 40 were Whigs
from the Slave states. This, as well as every other
important subject of legislation in Congress for the last
thirty years, shows clearly, that with the South, all party
distinctions give way at once, at the bidding of slavery.
When Northern men shall be as united for liberty as
Southern men have been for slavery, how soon will our
country be free from its present reproach !
Note No. XIV.
The Liberty party, at the Presidential election in
1840, gave 6983 votes; at the election in 1844, ^
gave 62,324 votes. Its growth has been regular, and
as rapid as could be expected. It resorts to no unwor-
thy means to increase its numbers, and desires others to
join its ranks, only as they are convinced of the truth
and righteousness of its principles.
Let it not, however, be despised for its yet compara-
tively small numbers. The great philosophical historian,
Milman, says, " It is erroneous to estimate strength and
influence by numerical calculation. All political changes
are wrought by a compact, organized, and disciplined
minority." This is the secret of the success of the slave-
holders. They have controlled the government for the
past fifty years, because they have been a " compact, or-
ganized, and disciplined minority." It is computed, on a
careful estimate, that there are not more than 250,0:0
slaveholders in the land, and that of these, deducting
widows, minors, and others, there are not more than
150,000 voters. When the Liberty party shall be "a
compact, organized, and disciplined minority," of such a
size, and shall control the counsels of the nation in
favor of liberty, as the slaveholders now control them
in favor of slavery, how soon will slavery die ! Eeader !
will you not resolve that you will be one to help in
bringing about such a glorious result ?
Note No. XV.
To the question "what has the North to do with
slavery ?" no answer more satisfactory, and none more
eloquent, certainly, can be given, than the following
extract from a letter from Cassius M. Clay, dated
Lexington, Kentucky, October. 25th, 1845, to Messrs.
C. D. Cleveland, J. Bouvier, W. Elder, and T. S.
Cavender, a committee that forwarded to him a series
of resolutions adopted at a meeting held in the State
APPEND IX. 143
House, in Philadelphia, to sympathize with him in the
brutal assault made upon his press, and the violence
threatened to his person, by the mob of the 1 8th of
August : —
"The question has been again and again asked, in
the most complacent simplicity, ' What has the free
North to do with Slavery?' The Slave states added
to the Union; the unconstitutional establishment of
slavery in the district of Columbia ; its unlawful
sufferance in the territories, the high seas, and places
of national, exclusive jurisdiction, answer, the North is
as guilty of this crime against man's supremacy and
immortality as the South; more so, because she is
derelict in her duty, with far less temptation. But as
no offence goes unpunished, she is reaping the fruit of
her sorry policy, by the unjust and disgraceful wars in
which she has been compelled to engage — by taxes
which have been imposed upon her — by the immense
capital which has been swallowed up in Southern bank-
ruptcy — by the hanging of citizens without trial by
jury and without law — by the imprisonment of her
seamen — by the expulsion of, and insult to, her ambas-
sadors — by the denial of justice in courts of national
justice — and, lastly, by the impudent seizure and for-
cible abduction of her own freeborn citizens upon her
own soil, and their incarceration in distant prisons.
Shall any one be so base as any longer to ask, ' What
has the North to do with Slavery ?' or, rather, shall
not the cry henceforth for ever, until the end, be,
' What shall the North do, to have nothing to do with
Slavery ?' "
Again, in the same letter, speaking of the threats
uttered against himself, and the attack upon the free-
dom of the press, he says :■ —
"If this be an unnecessary infliction of the slave
power, I call upon the nation to relieve me. If it be
a necessary woe, following in the wake of American
slavery, then, by all that is sacred among men, or holy
in heaven, let Americans rise in the omnipotence of
the ballot, and say, Slavery shall die ! "
That is the true doctrine. Let all the citizens of
the Free states, and all the non-slaveholders in the
Slave states, RISE IN THE OMNIPOTENCY OF
THE BALLOT, AND SAY, SLAVERY SHALL
Note No. XVI.
According to the Constitution, direct taxes must
be apportioned among the several States in the
ratio of their representation; and as the slave repre-
sentatives would increase this number, it would also
increase the amount of the tax in the same ratio. But
mark how the slaveholders have escaped the conse-
quence of this " compromise." The whole net revenue
of our Government, from the 4th of March, 1 789, to
January 1, 1845, has amounted to about 975 millions
of dollars; of which but little more than 12 millions
have been received in direct taxes ; and of this, the
South has paid for her slave representation only
1,256,553 dollars, or about one million and a quarter.
But had the revenue of the Government, amounting to
975 millions, been raised by direct taxation, the South
would have had to pay, as her proportion, for her slave
representation, over 105 millions; but instead of that
she has paid but one million and a quarter.
When, therefore, at the close of the last war, our
country was in debt about 1 20 millions of dollars, the
South resolved that this should not be paid by direct
taxes, but by duties laid upon imported goods.
Accordingly the Tariff of 1 8 16 was established. It
was then emphatically a Southern measure. That
Tariff, for instance, admitted the articles used for the
clothing of slaves at a duty of Jive cents on the dollar's
worth, and charged twenty cents on the dollar's worth of
finer articles used for the clothing of free laborers,
thereby making the honest labor of the Free states
pay four dollars, while the slave labor of the Slave
states paid but one, for clothing.
The Free states, however, with their industry and
skill, soon accommodated themselves to this state of
things, and their manufactures, by degrees, rose to a
height of great prosperity. But no sooner was our
national debt paid, than the South, ever watchful of its
purpose, resolved to strike a death-blow at the pros-
perity of the Free states ; and, accordingly, the cele-
brated u compromise" Tariff of 1832 was devised and
carried; in which the "compromise" was, as it ever
has been, all one way, Kothing is clearer than that the
Slave power put on the Tariff in 1 8 1 6, and took it
off in 1832. They have done just as they pleased.
Reader, it is in your power to say, they shall do so no
Note No. XVII.
The aggregate amount of the appropriations for
the navy, for three years previous to 1 846, was
17,357,556 dollars, a considerable portion of which
was spent for the home squadron, which consisted, in
1843, of one frigate, three sloops of war, four brigs,
one schooner, and one steamship. But why all this
array of naval force on our own coast at a time of pro-
found peace ? Let the late Judge Upshur, a Secretary
of the Navy, and a Virginian, answer. In his first report
to Congress, he speaks of " those incursions from which
so much evil is to be apprehended." Again : " The
effect of these incursions on the Southern portion of
our country would be disastrous in the extreme." And
again : " The Southern naval stations more especially,
require a large force for their security. A large
number of arms is kept in each of them, which, by a
sudden irruption of a class of people who are not
citizens, might be seized and used for very disastrous
purposes." Here, men of the Free states, you have
the whole of it. Here you see how we are taxed to
provide a force to keep the slaves of the Southern states
from insurrection. " What has the North to do with
Again : look at the Post- Office Department. How
enormous were the rates of postage for fifty years; and
even now (1845) tne y are by no means so low as they
should be. But why those high rates ? In order that
the Free states, where there is so much more corre-
spondence, might make up the loss the department
sustained in the Slave states. In 1844, tne Free states
were a gain to the department of more than half a
million of dollars, while the Slave states were a loss to
the department of more than half a million. The
Liberty party will not cease in their efforts in this
matter, till the postage here is the same as it is in
England; two cents, prepaid by stamps, for all
DISTANCES, ON EVERY LETTER WEIGHING HALF AN
ounce. What comfort and joy would this bring to the
door of every farmer, tradesman, mechanic, merchant,
and professional man throughout the land !
Again : see how we were taxed to support the
Florida war. That war, so disgraceful to our country,
cost forty millions of dollars ; and it was undertaken,
prosecuted, and finished, solely for the benefit of the
slaveholder, that the slave, escaping from his tyranny,
might not find protection in the wigwam of the red
man. It was for this that the decree went forth, that
the Indian must be driven from his native forests ; and
the foul deed was done. " What has the North to do
with slavery ?"
Note No. XVIII.
Of the 43 officers in the Navy Department in
Washington, in 1 844, there were 31 from the Slave
states, and but 1 2 from the Free states : and of all
the officers in the Navy, whether in actual service or
waiting orders, Pennsylvania, with a free population
more than double that of Virginia, had but 177, while
Virginia had 224.
Note No. XIX.
Never was this policy of the slaveholders more con-
spicuous than in filling the vacancy on the bench of
the Supreme Court, occasioned by the death of Judge
Thompson, in December, 1843. Two or three most
able and upright men were rejected by the Senate,
because it was feared that they had sentiments adverse
to slavery. And how tame, on all such occasions, have
been the Senators from the Free states ! But such
instances might be multiplied indefinitely.
Note No. XX.
See the letter of instructions written by Daniel
Webster, as Secretary of State, to Edward Everett, our
minister at London, respecting the slaves shipwrecked
in the brig Creole ; a letter of such a character as to
receive a deservedly severe review from an independent
and able editor of the Secretary's own party — Charles
King, of the New York American.
Note No. XXI.
In 1790, Virginia, with about 70,000 square miles
of territory, contained a population of 748,308 ; New
York, with about 45,000 square miles of territory,
contained a population of 340,120, not one half. In
1840, Virginia had 1,239,797; New York, 2,428,921,
nearly double. In 1800, Kentucky had 220,955 in-
habitants; Ohio, 45,365: in 1840, the former had
increased to 779,828; the latter, to 1,519,467 inha-
bitants. In Virginia there are 1 2 free inhabitants to
a square mile; in New York, 52.
Note No. XXII.
According to the last census there are of scholars
in free schools, in the Free states, 432,173; in the
Slave states, 35,580. Ohio alone has 51,812 such
scholars, more than are to be found in all the I 3 Slave;
In 1837, Governor Campbell reported to the Virginia
legislature, that from the return of 98 clerks, it appeared
that of 4614 applications for marriage licenses, no less
than 1047 were made by men unable to write!
How admirably calculated to assume the responsibilities
of the father !
Note No. XXIII.
Shipping, value of, in the Free
states .... dols. 6,31 1,805
„ „ Slave states 704,291
Manufactures, value in the
Free states . * « 334,139,690
5, „ Slave states 83,935,742
. Note No. XXIV.
" From long-continued and close observation, we
believe that the moral and religious condition of the
slaves is such, that they may justly be considered
the heathen of this Christian country, and will bear
comparison with heathen in any country in the world.
The negroes are destitute of the Gospel, and ever will
be under the present state of things." — Report published
by the Synod of South Carolina and Georgia, December
.3. l8 33-
The Bev. C. C. Jones, in a sermon preached before
two associations of planters in Georgia, thus writes :
" Generally speaking they (the slaves) appear to us to be
without God and without hope in the world ; a nation
of heathens in our very midst/'
In the loth Annual Report of the Sunday School
Union, we see that there were that year in the Free
states 5 04, 835 scholars ; and in the Slave states 82,532.
The single state of New York had 161,768 about twice
as many as all the Slave states together.
Note No. XXV.
The following table shows the force that each of
the thirteen States supplied for the regular army from
1775 to 1783 inclusive, and also, the sums allowed to
the several States for expenses incurred during the
States. Troops furnished. Money allowed.
New Hampshire, dols. 12,497 dols. 4,278,015
Massachusetts, 67,907 17,964,613
Rhode Island, 5,908 3,782,974
Connecticut, 3 1,939 9,285,737
New York, 17,781 7,179,982
New Jersey, 10,726 5,342,770
Pennsylvania, 25,678 14,137,076
Total of the present ) —
seven Free states, 3 172,436 61,971,167
Delaware, 2,386 839,319
Maryland^ J 3,9 12 7,568, 145
Virginia, 26,678 19,085,981
North Carolina, 7,263 10,427,586
South Carolina, 6,417 11,523,299
Georgia, 2,679 2,993,800
Total of the present 7
six Slave states. f 59>335 5 2 >438,i3o
Besides this, it might be added, that of the 45 officers
of the revolutionary army, the seven Northern States
furnished 30, the six Southern States 15.
By this table it will be seen, that while the Northern
States furnished about three times the number of troops
furnished by the Southern States, they received not
one-fifth more money. North Carolina, South Carolina,
and Georgia, furnished but 16,359 troops, and received
about 25 millions of dollars; New York furnished
17,781 troops, and received but 7 millions. Virginia
received over a million of dollars more than Massachu-
setts, while she furnished but a little more than one-
third the number of soldiers.
Note No. XXVI.
The following extract from a speech of the Mayor
of New Orleans indicates what power is felt to lie in
the ballot-box. " So long as the people at the North
contented themselves with the name of Abolitionists, we
of the South had nothing to fear, but now that they
carry the subject to the ballot-box, we have reason to
tremble for the safety of our institutions."
Note No. XXVII.
Another instance of gross injustice that occurs to
us, is the Distribution of the Surplus Revenue, by the
Act of 1 836. The sum to be distributed was 37,468,859
dollars ; and the act declared that it should be divided
in proportion to the representation of the several States
in Congress. Of this, the South, with a free population
of 3,789,674, received 16,058,082 dollars ; while the
North, with a free population of 7,003,229, received
but 21,410,777 dollars. So that for each inhabitant of
the free North there was but 3.05 dollars, while for each
free person of the South there was received 4.23 dollars;
or 1 . 1 8 dollars more for each free person in the South,
than for each free person in the North. Consequently,
the South, by this operation alone, received for her slave
representation in Congress more than four millions of.
But what makes the injustice of this distribution still
more flagrant, is the fact, that the surplus revenue was
mostly accumulated by .Northern industry and enter-
prise ; first, from the duties on imported merchandise, of
which the North pays three dollars to one paid by
the South ; and second, from the sales of the public
lands, which are mostly bought by settlers from the
Free states. So that, in short, while the Free states
were mainly instrumental in accumulating the surplus
revenue, in its distribution the Slave states received
more than their just share by over four millions of
dollars ! Who will now ask, " What has the North to
do with slavery ?"
Note No. XXVIIL
The following is the concluding paragraph of the
Address of the great Liberty Convention of the Friends
of Freedom in the Eastern and Middle States, held in
Boston, October 1, 2, and 3, 1 845.
" And, now, men of the free North ! — Citizens of the
Eastern and Middle States ! — by every consideration of
religion, humanity and patriotism, you are urged to the
exertion of all your powers for the overthrow of slavery.
Your homes and your altars, your honor and good
name, are at stake., The slave in his prison stretches his
manacled hands towards you, imploring your aid. A
cloud of witnesses surrounds you. The oppressed mil-
lions of Europe beseech you to remove from their path-
way to freedom the reproach and stumbling-block of
Democratic slavery. From the damp depths of dungeons
— from the stake and the scaffold, where the martyrs of
liberty have sealed their testimony with their blood—
solemn and awful voices call upon you to make the dead
letter of your republicanism a living truth. Join with us,
then, fellow citizens. Slavery is mighty : but it can be
overthrown. In the name of God and humanity, let us
bring the mighty ballot-box of a kingless people to bear
upon it. The model man of our Republic, who might
have been a king, but would not, calls from his grave
upon each of us to do that, which he solemnly declared
himself ready to do — to give his vote to free the slave
and to abolish the wicked phantasy of property in man.
He shall not call in vain. We acknowledge the duty of
consecrating our votes to the deliverance of the oppressed,
and joyfully do we perform it.' 5
LETTER TO THE MANAGERS OF THE
O the foregoing Addresses I append the following
" Letter to the Managers of the Philadelphia
Bible Society," for the following chief reasons.
First, because the Philadelphia Address
has always, in my mind, been intimately associated with the
Letter, bearing to it, as it does, the relation of cause and
Second, because it contains a quotation from a letter of the
author of the Cincinnati Address, showing his noble senti-
ments upon the duty of giving the Bible to the slave, at a
time when public opinion upon the subject was such, that
even the American Bible Society would not receive a separate
fund for the purpose of supplying our slave population with
Third, because, as my letter was not put upon the minutes
of the Society, probably on account of its length, it may at
some future time be asked why I presented my resignation
as their President, and why it was accepted. This letter and
the action of the Society upon it give the answer.
Fourth, because, at that time, no other paper to which I
applied would give my letter a place in its columns, but the
" American Anti-Slavery Keporter $ 5 ' and hence, though it
was copied into the i6 British and Foreign Anti- Slavery Re-
porter," but few in our country ever saw it. I feel, therefore,
* The " Address " 'appeared in the latter part of April 3
the " Letter '' was sent on the third of June,
that justice to myself demands that it be put in a form more
permanent as well as more accessible.
Fifth, because the action of the Bible Society upon my resig-
nation is a fair exponent of the position of the Christian Church
at that time upon the subject of Slavery. The managers re-
presented the most prominent denominations of Christians
in our city, and not only had the full confidence of their re-
spective churches, but stood high in the estimation of the com-
munity at large. When they, therefore, felt it to be their
duty virtually to eject their President from his office on account
of his anti-slavery views so publicly expressed, it is conclusive
evidence what was the prevailing sentiment of Christians on
the subject in 1844 5 and it seems to me that this their action
should have a record in the page of history.
I would only add that, though I feel, of course, unspeakable
joy that the spirit of liberty is now so triumphant in our land,
and that the principles once so generally odious are now the
settled convictions of the best and largest portion of the nation,
I reprint this letter in no unkind or retaliatory spirit towards
those to whom it is addressed. I felt, indeed, at the time,
deeply grieved at the course taken by the managers of the
Society, but I never either impugned their motives or harbored
the least feelings of resentment towards them, believing that
they verily thought they ought thus to act in order to advance
the best good of the Society whose highest interests and use-
fulness it was their duty to promote and extend. But whether
their action then was right or wrong, and whether or not the
end justified the means, I am now more than willing to leave
to the calm judgment of an enlightened Christian public,
at this, or at any future time.
C. D. C.
. May, 1867.
MANAGERS OF THE PHILADELPHIA
^rd June, 1844=
HEREWITH tender to you my resig-
nation as President of the Philadelphia
Bible Society. To that post of honor
and responsibility, in one of the great de-
partments of Christian benevolence, I was elected in
November, 1839. ^ nat tne Society did for the years
previous, and what it has done since ; what changes,
beneficial or otherwise, have been introduced ; how
many or how few plans have been devised and executed,
for engaging the earnest co-operation of Christians of
all denominations throughout the sphere of our labors;
how much or how little agency I may have had in what
has been done ; how much or how little I may have
labored in the many ways in which such a cause calls
for continuous and efficient action ; — of all these things
I have, of course, nothing to say. The record of a part,
though but a part, is before you. It has become history,
and history it will remain.
And here, wishing you, as a Society, all wisdom in the
choice of my successor ; still greater success in all your
future plans of benevolence ; and for each of you indi-
vidually the richest of all blessings — here I might close.
But that plainness and Christian candour which, I trust,
will ever characterize me through life, and which, at
such a time, are due alike to you and to myself, demand
that I should say something more.
Ever since you elected me to be your President, it has
been my fixed purpose that I would continue such no
longer, certainly, than it appeared I held the office by
the unanimous wish of the board. If there be any place
where entire confidence, entire harmony, entire love should
prevail, it is where Christians meet together to devise
plans for the circulation of that Word, the very essence
of which is love and good-will to man. Not that all the
Board should have precisely the same views in morals,
religion, or politics. To require that, or to expect that,
would be as absurd as to require or to expect that all
should look alike, or be of the same stature. While each
claims for himself the right to hold his own opinions
upon all subjects without being amenable to the Board,
each should have the justice and magnanimity, as well as
Christian charity, to allow the same to all other members,
never dreaming that diversities of opinion in individuals
conflict with their duties as managers, or commit the
Board in the slightest degree to their own peculiar views.
But it seems that the time has arrived when there is to
be an exception to this clear rule of action.
On the f 7th of last month, when calling on one of the
vice-presidents, to consult with him, as one of the commit-
tee, in relation to our anniversaiy, he said that he felt it to
be his duty, as my friend, to say that a number of members
of the Board had within a few days expressed opinions
adverse to my being re-elected the President of the
Society ; and that there would doubtless be many votes
given against me at the next election, or words to that
effect. The ground of the opposition, he said, was the
charge of my being the author of " The Address of the
Liberty Party of Pennsylvania to the People of the
State." To that charge, with however much of odium it
may be attended in this community, I would here plead
guilty. But how it was that my being the author of that
" Address " conflicted with my duties as your President
did not, I confess, so readily appear. The thought im-
mediately occurred to me that the most prominent mem-
ber of the Pennsylvania Bible Society is, and has been
for many years, a slaveholder. I say it not in the least
spirit of unkindness to that gentleman, but merely state
it as a fact, with which I know many of you are familiar.
Yet I never heard it whispered even, that such a relation
constituted any objection to his being, year after year,
elected to the responsible office of corresponding sec-
How, then, my being the author of an Address to the
people of Pennsylvania advocating the eternal principles
of truth and justice — an Address, every moral sentiment
of which is, I believe, in accordance with the truths of
that Bible which we have been laboring to spread — an
Address which calls upon all good men to exert their
influence to elect such rulers as have the fear of God
before their eyes — an Address which holds up one man,
the idol of a great party, in the light in which every moral
man, not to say Christian, should view him — an Address
which speaks of slavery as Christian men, in growing
numbers, all over the world are speaking of it, whose
moral vision is not obscured by the thousand selfish in-
terests that ensnare the soul and lead captive the under-
standing — how, I say, my being the author of such an
Address disqualified me from being the President of a
Bible society did not, I confess, appear so plain to me.
It is enough for me, however, to have been assured
that a considerable portion of the Board seem to think
so ; and therefore, agreeably to the resolution always
formed in my own mind, to preside over you no longer
than it seemed to be desired by a wish unanimous or
approximating to unanimity, I deem it best to retire
from your body, that you may select some one to fill
my place in whom you can all harmoniously unite.
Allow me, however, to say that there are some ques-
tions connected with this subject, entirely independent
of myself, which it may be well for the Board to ask and
seriously to ponder. Are they prepared, as a body, be-
fore the world, to take what will seem to be pro-slavery
ground, in deeming one unfit any longer to preside over
them from his anti-slavery views ? Are they prepared
in this day of increasing Christian light, and in the face
of the Christian public, to do anything that would seem,
in the slightest degree, to countenance or strengthen a
corrupt sentiment on the subject of slavery ? What,
then, I ask, will be thought of the offering up, as a
peace-offering, a brother as a sacrifice upon the altar of
its Moloch ? I ask not what a Christian public, merely,
may think of such things ; but I ask what will high-
minded men think ? Will it not seem to them some-
thing like persecution for opinion's sake ? and will it
meet their sense of right action, to have anyone, though
they might not agree with him in sentiment, removed
from a responsible station, for writing what he has
written under a deep sense of duty and responsibility.
Such are a few questions which the Board may here
ask. Others of a similar character will doubtless pre-
Let it be here borne in mind, brethren, that I have
never asked you to espouse the opposite side ; that I have
never asked you to take anti-slavery ground, except by
doing all you could to circulate the best of all anti-
slavery books —the Bible. You will bear me witness
that, notwithstanding my well-known views on the
subject of Slavery, I have never introduced them into
the Board. Not that I was prevented by any considera-
tions of unpopularity. Were I governed by such
low motives, I never, in Philadelphia certainly, should
have written that Address — no, nor ever have divulged
the sentiments I hold. But having thought often and
deeply upon the course which it was duty for me to
take, I never could see what good could be done by
bringing the subject of Slavery before our Board, limited
as our sphere of operations is to the city and districts,
I have lamented, indeed, and deeply lamented, that the
American Bible Society, in its annual report, when
giving its estimate of the destitution of our country, has
never mentioned the poor down-trodden slave. I have
thought the course pursued by that society as yielding
to the prevailing corrupt sentiment of the day, certainly
not in keeping with the spirit of the Gospel.
And here I am glad to be able to present to you some
high confirmation of my views. My early and honored
friend, S. P. Chase, Esq,, of Cincinnati, for many years
the efficient president of the Young Men's Bible Society
of that city, one of the most prominent members of the
Liberty party in Ohio, and who needs no eulogy of
mine to his moral and intellectual worth, in a letter
dated May 28th, 1843, thus writes :—
" Our Young Men's Bible Society and yours, are
" two most important auxiliaries. Can we not do
" something to arouse the American Bible Society
a from its apathy in regard to the destitution of
" the Slaves ? When they propose to put a Bible
" in every family, and omit all reference to the
" Slaves ; and when, giving an account of the
" destitution of the land, they make no mention
" of two and a half millions of people perishing
"in our midst, without the Scriptures, can
" we help feeling that something is dreadfully
" wrong ? "
This, brethren, is a most solemn question. It is a
question which I verily believe the Board of the
American Bible Society, so far as they may have
yielded, directly or indirectly, openly or silently, to a
corrupt public sentiment on this subject, will have to
answer at the bar of Him who has declared, that " if
ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin ;" and that
" inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these,
ye did it not to me." The spirit of Christianity is a
spirit of universal love and philanthropy. She looks
down with pity, and, if she could, she would look with
scorn upon all the petty distinctions that exist among men.
She casts her benignant eye abroad over the earth, and,
wherever she sees man, she sees him as man, as a being
made in the image of God, whether an Indian, an African,
or a Caucasian sun may shine upon him. She stoops from
heaven to raise the fallen, to bind up the broken-
hearted, to release the oppressed, to give liberty to the
captive, and to break the fetters of those that are
bound. She is marching onward with accelerated step,
and, wherever she leaves the true impress of her
heavenly influence, the moral wilderness is changed
into the garden of the Lord. May it never be ours to
do what may seem to be even the slightest obstacle to
her universal sway.
Such, brethren, are a few of the many interesting
thoughts that crowd upon me on this occasion. But I
have already written more than I intended, and I
cannot enlarge. In bringing this communication to a
close, allow me to express to you individually, and as
a Board, my most sincere Christian attachment. What-
ever course any members may have taken in relation
to this matter, I must believe that they have acted
from what has seemed to them a sense of duty. Far
be it from me to impeach their motives. Time, the
great test of truth, may show them their course in a
very different light from that in which they now view
it. I may, as a Christian, lament that their views of
duty are not more in unison with my own. I may, as
a man, feel heart-sickened at the diseased, the deplorably
diseased state of the public mind, in relation to two
and a half millions of my fellow-men in bondage. I
may, as a citizen of a Free state, blush at the humiliat-
ing fact, that not only the tyranny, but the ubiquity of
the slave power is everywhere so manifest ; that it has
insinuated itself into our free domain to such a degree,
that there seems to be as much mental Slavery in the
Free states, as there is personal in the Slave states. I
may feel all this, but I must not impeach the motives
by which others have been governed.
And now iet me, in conclusion, leave those points in
which some of us may differ, and look only to those in
which we have all agreed. Let me recur to pleasing
recollections. Let me look back to the past five years,
during which time we have all moved on so harmoniously
together in our labors to furnish the destitute with the
volume of Divine truth. I can truly say that our
action together has ever been to me one continued
source of pleasure. If there have been differences of
opinion (and these have been very few and very slight)
they have been settled as Christians always should set-
tle them, in the kindest and most confiding manner. I
thank you for all your kindness to me. I thank you for
your confidence so early shown and so long continued. I
thank you for the cordial support you have ever given
to the various measures proposed to increase the resources
and to extend the usefulness of our Society. And let
me assure you, that of all the pleasing reminiscences
of my life none will ever be to me sources of more
grateful meditation, than those connected with the five
years in which we have moved on, hand in hand, so har-
moniously together. If, during those years, in our labors
to carry the Gospel to the destitute, we have been the
humble instruments of bringing even one sinner to turn
from the error of his ways ; of giving even to one those
consolations which the Bible alone can give, we may
feel, indeed, most richly rewarded for any amount of
time or of labor we may have devoted to the work.
Again, wishing you from my heart, individually, and
as a Board, the richest of Heaven's blessings,
I remain, very sincerely,
Your friend and brother,
Charles Dexter, Cleveland.
As soon as the Secretary, Mr. John Sparhawk, had read
the foregoing letter, he offered a resolution that my resigna-
tion be not accepted. A long debate thereon ensued, but the
resolution was lost by the decisive vote of seven to fourteen.
A counter resolution was then offered that my resignation be
accepted "with regret," which was carried, fourteen to seven.
Theodore Cuyler, Esq. then offered the following, which was
carried unanimously, the whole number of managers present
—twenty -one — voting aye.
" Resolved, — That this Board are mainly indebted to
" Professor C. D. Cleveland for the prominent and in-
" fluential position it has attained in the regards of this
" Christian community, and that they bear an earnest
" testimony to the sound judgment and unwearied zeal
" which have ever characterized the discharge of his
" duties in his responsible office."
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